26 Oct How to Have a Spook-tacular Halloween!
Halloween is a fun, spooky time for kids, but can truly be frightening for parents worrying if your kids are safe. Here are some easy tips to keep everyone safe this holiday:
Keep the costumes bright and reflective. Consider adding a strip of reflective tape onto costumes, shoes, and trick-or-treat bags to increase visibility in the dark.
Falls are common in costumes, so make sure shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping. If the costume has a large accessory like a sword or cane, make sure it is not too long or sharp. A stumble or trip can cause an injury from an unruly accessory.
Check that your child’s costume, accessories, and wigs are flame resistant. There should be a label on the garment.
Masks can limit eyesight and peripheral vision, so consider non-toxic makeup or hats as an alternative. Make sure to skin-test makeup on a small patch prior to Halloween and ensure that hats fit properly and won’t fall over the eyes and obstruct vision.
Beware of decorative contact lenses. Contacts should never be worn without a prescription, as it is both dangerous and illegal. Improper fitting can result in pain, inflammation, and serious eye problems which can lead to permanent vision loss.
Review with your child how to call 911 in case of emergency or if they become lost.
Never let small children carve a pumpkin. Leave the sharp instruments and cutting to an adult. Consider using paint, markers, or stickers that are age appropriate for young children to decorate their pumpkins.
Instead of candles, consider a glow stick or LED votive to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a short votive is safest.
For Your Home
Ensure walking paths and porches are clear of items that can trip a visiting trick-or treater. Toys, bikes, and garden hoses are easy to miss in the dark. Keep festive lawn decorations out of walkways.
Check that outdoor lights are on, and replace any burned-out bulbs.
Make a safety plan for pets to keep them from escaping the house when a trick-or-treater arrives. Also consider how to keep them from jumping on a costumed stranger at the door.
On the Road
Always ensure a parent or responsible adult is with young children as they trick-or-treat.
Keep flashlights or other bright light sources for children and their escorts.
Never enter a home or car for a treat.
If your older child is going alone, review and plan a route that is acceptable to all. Agree on a meeting place and time as well.
Stay in a group and communicate where everyone will be going.
Use a sidewalk whenever possible, and don’t cut across lawns or use back alleys.
Always cross the street in a group in a crosswalk and never cross between parked cars.
Consider a healthy meal prior to trick or treating to discourage youngsters from eating too much candy at once.
Consider non-food items as a treat for those visiting your home, such as pencils or erasers.
Wait until children are home to check treats for safety. An adult should ensure that all treats look safe and don’t appear spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious in any way.
Try to limit the amount of treats and candy consumed in one day. Rationing the candy over the days and weeks after Halloween can allow the enjoying of the treats for more than just one eve!