It’s that time of year again, when your child wants to dress up as a character from Five Nights at Freddy’s and you long for the good old days of Freddie Kruger.  So here some tips to help you survive Halloween.

Halloween is on a Sunday this year, so at least you can avoid the issue of no costumes allowed at school. However, the Club and perhaps other groups (Scouts, dance, etc) will be having Halloween events where costumes are allowed and so it is worth considering the following:
• Can my child be trusted to leave their costume in their bag during the day, or should I drop it off at the Club/meeting place?
• My child may wish to dress as a zombie but is that appropriate for the other children that they will be around?
• It is best to get a costume they can easily get in and out of themselves?
• Is it best to avoid swords, scythes and other props that might be used for inappropriate purposes?

Costumes can also be very expensive and with the loss of K-Mart, we are limited to Ross and TJ Maxx as two of the local retailers with reasonable prices. If you can drive to Carson you have some affordable options in Costco (though go early as they do run out) and a Halloween Store pops up every year selling a wide range of choices. This year it is in the old Pier 1 store near Wal-Mart. However, if your child is open to options, it is also worth checking out Tahoe Mountain Kids for some second hand costumes or asking friends with older kids for hand-me-downs.

You can also go old-school and do a home-made costume. This is great as you can involve your child in the process and have some quality time together, but our advice is unless you have serious talent, go simple as you don’t want to end up on Pinterest Fails!
Another big issue with costumes in Tahoe is the weather. You don’t want to spend $30 on a fairy costume that you then have to cover up with a big winter jacket. If you are planning to trick or treat outside and after dark, best to make sure that the costume is warm or can easily accommodate extra layers underneath.

So you got a great costume, or kid went trick or treating at the Club or in the neighborhood and now you have a HUGE bag of candy in your house, what do you do?

We recommend setting limits with your child before they go trick or treating. One piece of candy only from the kindly offered bowl. (This is considerate to the householder who has spent hard earned money to buy candy and also helps to lessen the amount that goes home). And agree in advance how many pieces can be eaten on the night (helps avoid arguments when everyone is tired, cold and sugar high).

Once home, go through the candy removing anything not allowed (in our house we don’t do chewing or bubble gum) and then decide what to do with the rest. You may wish to donate it (teachers in all schools and the Club often like to have a supply on hand for incentives and treats). You can ration it, for example 1 piece a day in their lunchbox until all gone. You can cook with some of it – brownies, cookies etc Or you can simply throw it away. Do what is right for you and your family.
For children with allergies we recommend the rule of nothing eaten until an adult has checked through it (wrappers can be easily mistaken in the dark and when excited) and if going to a party – it is good to tell the host in advance so that they can avoid those ingredients or make adaptations. No one wants an ER trip.

The big bad bogyman this Halloween is still COVID-19. Although you are outside, trick or treating is still an exposure to lots of different people and we recommend your costume includes a mask. This can be a Halloween mask or it can be a normal face mask but no-one has ever regretted being extra cautious. We now know that spread through surfaces etc is less than previously thought, but to avoid any illnesses, best not to accept any candy that isn’t wrapped and definitely nothing homemade from anyone you don’t know well. Practical jokes can sometimes have serious consequences.

You may also opt to limit your Halloween festivities to kids your child is around all the time, or houses where you know friends and family live.

You can also have great Halloween fun by doing things like outdoor spooky movie nights with a limited number of friends, a fright-night sleepover with a trusted friend, or leave it to Club and the fun we are organizing here.
Whatever you do, have a great night and don’t let the vampires bite!