Halloween is just a few days away! On October 31st, millions of children (and some playful adults too) will knock on doors around their neighborhood dressed in costumes that range from ghoulish to hilarious.
This post is aimed at the parents of those children going out to make sure that they keep their kids safe from any potential harm or danger. Kids should have fun on Halloween, but their safety should be the top priority for every parent sending their kids into the night festivities.
- Decorate with markers, glitter glue or paint. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with art supplies. Leave any carving to an adult.
- Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Better yet, light pumpkins with flashlights, battery-operated flameless candles or glow sticks instead
- The brighter the better. Whether you buy a costume or make one yourself, choose bright colors and flame-retardant materials. If your child will be trick-or-treating outdoors after dark, attach reflective tape to his or her costume or treat bag.
- Size it right. In case it's chilly outdoors, make sure your child's costume is loose enough for warm clothing to be worn underneath — but not long enough to cause tripping. Avoid oversized shoes and high heels.
Trick or Treating
- Get in on the fun. Accompany trick-or-treaters younger than age 12. Pin a piece of paper with your child's name, address and phone number inside your child's pocket in case you get separated. Encourage older kids to trick or treat with a group of friends, parents or older siblings. Make sure someone in the group has a flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Set ground rules. If your child will be trick-or-treating without you, plan and discuss a familiar route and set a curfew. Review safety rules, including staying with the group, walking only on the sidewalk, approaching only clearly lit homes and never going inside a home or car for a treat. Have your child carry a cellphone for the evening so he or she can contact you.
- Inspect the treats carefully. Don't let your child snack while he or she is trick-or-treating. Feed your child an early meal before heading out, and inspect the treats before allowing your child to dive in. Discard anything that's not sealed, has torn packaging or looks questionable. If you have young children, weed out gum, peanuts, hard candies and other choking hazards.
- Ration the loot. If your child collects gobs of goodies, dole out a few pieces at a time and save the rest. You might even ask your child if he or she would like to swap some — or all — of the candy for something else, such as a special toy, book or outing.