A fun looking haunted house art project.

Halloween is the best time for those who love a good scare make their way to the nearest haunted house. When considering haunted house visits with your kids, it’s crucial to prioritize their physical and mental safety above all else. By taking a few precautions and following haunted house safety tips with kids, we can strike a balance between providing a fun adventure and safeguarding the well-being of our young ones.

Are haunted houses appropriate for kids?

It depends…….

When you are trying to decide if visiting a hunted house is right for your child, you should take a few factors under consideration. Some of these include your child’s age, temperament, and sensitivity to frightening situations.

Some haunted houses are designed to be family-friendly, with milder scares and a more whimsical atmosphere. However, many traditional haunted houses are designed to be terrifying! This type of haunted house might not be suitable for very young children or those who are easily frightened.

How can you decide which haunted house is best for your kids?

The good news is you have lots of different ways to screen which haunted houses are best for your families situation. Here are a few different ways to do it.

Look For Well-Known Attractions

When selecting a haunted house visit with your kids, you want to look for attractions that have a solid reputation for safety and quality. Find attractions that have received positive reviews, high ratings, and recommendations from other parents.

Visit their website and read about the details

Check the haunted house’s official website for information about age-appropriateness, family-friendly options, and any guidelines they provide for visitors with children.

Call the site and talk to an employee

Calling the haunted house directly and speaking to someone who works there can be very helpful! This conversation will give you the opportunity to ask specific questions so that you know what to expect.

Visit Reviews and Forums

Online forums and review platforms can be helpful in gauging the experiences of other parents who have taken their kids to the attraction. Their insights can offer valuable perspectives.

Talk to your friends and family

Check in with friends and family to find out which haunted houses they have visited and ask them about their experiences. They are the most likley to be honest with you about what they thought.

Consider Family-Friendly or Daytime Options

Haunted houses come in various flavors, and some attractions offer family-friendly or daytime versions of their experience. These options are carefully tailored to provide a more accessible experience for children, allowing them to enjoy the Halloween ambiance without overwhelming fright.

A boy uses a flashlight to look under the bed.

How to prepare your child to visit a haunted house

Set Expectations

Explain to your child that a haunted house is a place where people go to experience scares and have fun. Emphasize that everything inside is meant for entertainment and is not real. Be honest that some people find haunted houses scary and its okay if they do too!

Show Visuals

If possible, show your child pictures or videos of the haunted house from its website or social media. This can help them visualize what the experience will be like.

Discuss the Scares

Be specific and talk about the types of scares they might encounter, such as jump scares, spooky decorations, and actors dressed in costumes. Remind them that these are all pretend and that its like watching a play or a show.

Address Concerns

Ask your child if they have any concerns or questions about the haunted house. Address their worries and provide reassuring answers to alleviate any fears.

A boy walks in the dark with a lantern.

Haunted House Safety Tips With Kids

Once you have decided on the right haunted house for your family to visit, there are a few things you can do to make the experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

Adult Supervision at All Times

This is a must when visiting a haunted house with young kids. Attending with your child and being present ensures that your kids feel supported throughout the experience. Be prepared to answer questions, and address any concerns that arise during the visit.

Maintain a Safe Distance from Scare Actors and Props

Haunted houses are designed with surprises and interactive elements, including scare actors and props. Encourage your children to maintain a safe physical distance from these actors and objects. While the scare actors are trained to startle visitors, they should never make direct physical contact.

Follow the Attraction’s Rules and Guidelines

Every haunted house has specific rules and guidelines for visitors. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of all participants. Make sure you and your children are aware of these guidelines and follow them closely.

Using the Buddy System

Encourage the use of the buddy system, especially if you’re visiting the haunted house with a group of children. Pairing kids up ensures that they have someone familiar by their side throughout the experience.

A teddy bear with its arm around another teddy bear.

Providing emotional support

A big part of keeping your child safe at a haunted house is respecting their emotional safety just as much as their physical safety. This means watching for signs that they are upset and not enjoying the experience.

Recognizing Signs of Distress

Be attentive to your child’s emotional state throughout the visit. Watch for signs of distress such as excessive crying, extreme fear, or visible signs of anxiety. If your child seems overwhelmed, it’s important to take their feelings seriously. Forcing your child to stay when they are terrified is not your best option.

Have an exit plan

Before entering the haunted house, have a clear exit plan in mind. If your child becomes too frightened to continue, know where the nearest exit is located and how to leave the attraction promptly. It’s better to have a plan in place and not need it than to be caught off guard.

Don’t tease your child about the experience

While some parents might be tempted to make light of a scary experience, remember not to tease your child, even if you think what they are afraid of is silly or not scary at all.

Wooden letters that say "tips"

Physical Safety Tips For Haunted Houses

Wear Appropriate Footwear for Uneven Surfaces

Haunted houses often have uneven surfaces, ramps, and stairs. Ensure your child wears sturdy, comfortable footwear with good traction to prevent slipping or tripping. Some kids panic at scary things they see, or try to run in the dark. This is a recipie for injuries!

Stay close or hold hands

It can be difficult to stay together when its dark and there are large crowds. When you take your kids to a haunted house take extra caution by having your chuld in sight at all times. Designtate a meeting place where your child can go if they get lost.

Go on a light stomach

Sometimes going to a haunted house can make little tummies sick. This can be caused by nerves or the scary scenes that are presented. Having a full stomach can contribute to nightmare vomit scenerios. If your child is extra squemish, bring a barf bag just in case.

Bring your own source of light

Have a flashlight on hand in case the haunted house is too dark and scary for your kids. It can also be helpful to let your child carry a glow stick with them.

Keep an eye out for exits

As your go through the haunted house watch for exits so you know where to go if your child finds the experience too intense. Exits should be well lit and easy to see.

A father and son talk.

Follow Up

When you are done at the haunted house, take the time to talk to your child about their experience. An open conversation allows your child to process their feelings, share their thoughts, and feel understood. Here are some of examples of questions you can ask:

  • “How did you feel inside the haunted house?”
  • “What parts did you find scary?”
  • “What did you enjoy the most?”
  • “Did anything surprise you?”

This not only helps them express themselves, but also fosters trust between you and your child.

Take the time to Address Any Lingering Fears or Anxieties

If your child appears to be experiencing lingering fears or anxieties after the haunted house visit, approach the topic gently and empathetically:

  • Acknowledge their feelings: Let your child know that it’s okay to feel scared or uneasy, and that many people feel the same way after such experiences. Validation is important when your child opens up about how they really feel.
  • Separate fiction from reality: Remind them that the haunted house was designed to be fun and is not real.
  • Offer comfort: Share a personal experience of overcoming fear or discuss a time when you felt scared and how you managed it.
  • Provide coping strategies: Teach your child some deep breathing exercises or visualization techniques that can help reduce anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Haunted houses can be fun, but they are not for everybody. You know your child best, and can decide together when the right time is to give one a try. Do your research before you go. Find a haunted house that is the best fit for your families situation and you’ll have a better chance at having a good experience. With a little preparation, you can have a fun and a safe adventure!

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