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How to Keep Your Kids Safe This Halloween

Oct 21st 2010 at 12:53 PM

It's almost Halloween, that annual celebration of all things ghostly and ghoulish! Make sure your little monsters stay safe this Halloween by following a few basic guidelines.

Dressing Them Up

  1. Bright or light colored costumes are much more visible at night. Sewing a little reflective tape to the costume will further increase visibility.
  2. Choose costumes, accessories and props that are flame-resistant, color-fast and do not contain any materials that might be toxic or that have any sharp edges or pieces that may snap off and become a hazard.
  3. Whenever possible, use hypoallergenic makeup instead of masks, which can impair a child's vision, hearing or breathing.
  4. The night can be quite chilly so plan their costumes so that they can go over top of clothing appropriate for the weather. Your daughter may want to go as a ballerina, but if there's snow on the ground a ballet costume will not keep her warm enough. If it's nippy, be sure she has a jacket or parka over that tutu, mitts or gloves, and even a scarf.
  5. Make sure the kids are wearing shoes or boots that are suitable for walking the distance and for the weather conditions.
  6. If the child is going as a mummy, watch those trailing bandages! Costumes should not be longer than your child's ankles or have long dragging parts that could be hazardous for walking.

Rules for Trick or Treating

  1. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult while trick or treating. Older children should always travel in groups of three or more.
  2. If it's quite dark or the street lights in your neighborhood are dim, make sure they carry a flashlight.
  3. Send them out with a plan and a map of the route they are to take. Make it clear that they're not to go to any streets that are not on the map, and set a time by which they must be home. If possible, make sure the child has a cell phone with him/her and knows how to use it to call you if he/she gets lost or is going to be late getting back.
  4. Be sure that your child knows and obeys pedestrian safety rules, that all streets must be crossed only at marked crosswalks and well lit corners.
  5. Stress safety at all times. Children must know that they NEVER accept rides from strangers, and NEVER go up to the door of a house by themselves. They should also be told to stay away from houses that are not well lit.
  6. Be sure your child knows NEVER to eat any of his/her treats until you have had a chance to inspect them and make sure that they're safe.
  7. Each year, more communities hold Halloween parties and functions which are a much safer alternative than door-to-door trick or treating. Consider attending one of these instead. Or host your own neighborhood get-together.

Happy Halloween!

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