HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
Published Sept. 2010 by Kayla Moore
With Halloween fast approaching, the minds of children are filled with ideas of what they’d like to dress up as, and all the candy that they’re going to score. Parents’ minds are filled with DIY costume ideas, dentist bills, and class Halloween parties. A very important part of Halloween night often goes by the wayside, however. Safety should be a top priority. It’s not difficult to keep your little ghouls and goblins safe on October 31.
First and foremost, keep safety in mind when it comes time to choose your child’s costume. Hem length should be a consideration with costumes. If it’s a long costume, ensure that the hem doesn’t drag on the ground and cause a tripping hazard. If it is too long, make the appropriate adjustments, either with sturdy double sided tape that’s designed for fabrics, or with needle and thread. As a general rule, masks aren’t a good idea either, as they will impede your child’s vision. Instead, implement the use of non-toxic face paint. If you live in a colder region, keep the weather in mind when choosing a costume.
No matter how safe you believe your community to be, don’t allow your children to go out trick or treating without adult supervision. Whether it be you, another child’s parent, or a trusted babysitter in the neighborhood. There does come a time when a child is old enough to go out without supervision, which usually doesn’t occur until age 14 to 15. If and when you do decide that your child is ready to head out without adult supervision, be firm about the fact that going with a group is non-negotiable. Safety in numbers does have merit, after all.
If your child’s costume is darker in color, mark it with reflective tape, as well as giving them a flashlight to carry, so that they will be easily visible to any passing motorists. Before you leave the house, discuss
some ground rules for the evening. Make sure that they walk on designated walkways and don’t cut across yards, or through backyards. Look both ways before crossing any streets, and only cross at designated crosswalks or street corners. Stress the fact that going into anybody’s home is prohibited, unless it’s a person that your child knows well. And even then, only with your direct permission.
While out on your trick or treating rounds, don’t allow your children to consume any candy until you have thoroughly inspected all of the candy at home. Once you get home, dump all of the candy out in a well lit area. Inspect each and every piece. Throw out any unwrapped candy, as well as any candy with less than intact wrappers. Homemade goods are also to be discarded, unless you know the source and that they can be trusted. Once the candy ahs been inspected, allow your child to have a piece or two, if you wish. At that point, put the Halloween candy away, and ration it out bit by bit, unless the thought of a child on a sugar high doesn’t bother you at all.
Halloween is a happy childhood time, and the fun can continue year after year, as long as the proper safety precautions are made.