10:07am Tuesday 19 November 2019

Five ways to make Halloween a treat for children

1) Make sure your children can see and be seen. When crowds of trick-or-treaters are walking through neighborhoods, visibility becomes a top concern. Children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year. With days getting shorter, remember that it will be darker a bit earlier on Halloween night and plan accordingly.

Light- and bright-colored costumes can help make children easier to see but may not be enough. Use reflectors or reflective tape to decorate costumes and sacks.  Remember, a car traveling at 60 mph needs 260 feet to stop completely. Reflectors make your children visible at 500 feet.

  • Avoid masks, which can impair vision. Makeup or nontoxic face paint is a better alternative.
  • Give trick-or-treaters flashlights to improve visibility and decrease the risk of falling.
  • Make sure children understand and obey all traffic regulations, such as looking both ways before crossing streets.

2) Dress little ghosts and goblins for success. The most important part of the evening is picking out that just-right costume. Make sure costumes are safe as well as festive.

  • Check that costumes fit properly, avoiding those that drag on the ground.
  • Avoid long flowing skirts, belts or loose ends that could catch fire or cause your child to trip or fall.
  • Make sure accessories such as knives, swords and other props are made of flexible material or cardboard.
  • Attach contact information on  costumes in case children get separated, and make sure children know their phone number. Provide older children with a means of calling home.

3) Be careful around candles, and if possible use alternatives. Not all costumes are flame-retardant, so it is up to you to help reduce the chance of fire-related injuries during Halloween.

  • Light jack-o-lanterns with tap lights or glow sticks rather than candles.
  • Don’t allow trick-or-treaters to carry lanterns or candles with an open flame. Electric candles or a flashlight (with new batteries) are much safer choices.
  • Clear your yard of debris and mark a well-lit path for trick-or-treaters. Avoid candles or other open flames.

4) Superheroes need supervision. Even Batman had a reliable companion, and your little costumed character should have one, too, on Halloween especially.

  • Accompany trick-or-treaters, particularly those under age 10.
  • Trick-or-treat only at the homes of trusted neighbors and friends.

5) Save the sweet tooth for later. Goody bags will fill up quickly with sweet temptations, but remember that safety comes first.

  • Inspect candy before allowing children to eat it. Serve a healthy snack before trick-or-treating to avoid temptation.
  • Remove inappropriate treats (for instance, those that can be a choking hazard) from goody bags.
  • Limit candy consumption to avoid a bedtime sugar high.

These tips should ensure both a fun and safe Halloween.


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