Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Halloween SafetyTips For Kids


I know it seems too early to talk about Halloween. After all, it's only mid-September, so Halloween is several weeks away. However, anyone who has been to a grocery or 'big-box' store lately knows that it's not unusual to think about this fun holiday early. If your kids are going trick-or-treating, here are some safety tips you/they should follow. A lot of these things seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised.

-Only go to houses with porch lights on. Don't cut through yards, but stay on a driveway or walkway.

-If you are handing out candy and have a dog, either bring him inside or restrain him so he doesn't get spooked and bite anyone. Even the sweetest of dogs can get nervous when a bunch of people they don't know come up to their house at night.

-Even though incidents of poisonings or foreign objects put into halloween candy are few and far between, it's always a good idea to check your children's candy to make sure everything is okay. If you want to be sneaky, you can do what my parents did and use 'checking candy' as a ruse to help yourself to a piece or two. :)

-Make sure your child's costume doesn't get in the way of walking or other motions. Costumes should also either be light in color or have some sort of reflecting property so cars can see them.

-Masks should not restrict breathing or eyesight. When it doubt, use makeup or funny hats instead.

-Your child's costume and anything associated with it (wigs, props, etc) should be labeled as flame-retardant. Also, make sure accessories such as swords aren't positioned where a child could trip over it.

-Stay on sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the outer edges of the road and facing traffic. Make sure your children stay in well-lit areas, and only use established crosswalks.

-Young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult or older sibling. Even if they think they don't need supervision, make sure they stay in groups. Also, know where they're going and when they're going to be back.

-Unless you know the person, your children should never go into anyone's house to get their candy. In fact, it might be a good idea to restrict trick-or-treating to people your children know.

-If you're really nervous about your kids going out at night, find alternate celebrations. For instance, my church has what's called a 'trunk or treat', where people hand out candy to children from the trunks of their cars. Some shopping malls or downtown areas will hand out candy or other items at different stores, often during the day. This is especially good if you have very young children. If you want to do something different altogether, a lot of churches or schools have family-friendly fall festivals (say that five times fast!). Better yet, throw your own and invite all your children's friends.

Now you have a few ideas about keeping your kids safe during Halloween. This way, you can be sure a good time is had by all.

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