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How to Keep Kids Safe on Halloween

How in the world is it October again already? Are you ready for the holiday season? I hope you are because it’s upon us!

By
Cherylyn Feierabend,
October 9, 2010
Episode #170

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How in the world is it October again already? Are you ready for the holiday season? I hope you are because it’s upon us! I have to admit that I consider myself lucky. As other kids continue to change their minds on a daily basis as to what they want to dress up as for Halloween, mine have stood firm in their decisions. Our costumes are already purchased! My son is going to as a Castle Crasher video game character and my daughter, who desperately wanted to be the Easter Bunny, has compromised to just being a bunny. Thank goodness for compromise! She can still collect candy in an Easter bucket if she wants, right? So, by now, you’ve probably deduced that I’m going to be talking about Halloween and if you know me, you know that means keeping safe!

How to Keep Kids Safe on Halloween

Let’s start with the basics. I’m talking about the costume. What little goblin doesn’t want to dress up as a witch, wizard, vampire, or bunny? Kids love to dress up, so let them have fun with it; but make sure their costumes are safe. Take into consideration where they will be and what they will be doing. If they will be wearing their costumes to school, also make sure you are aware of school rules. Most schools don’t allow masks, even on dress-up days. There is a reason for this! Obstructing eyesight is never a good idea and that’s exactly what masks do. Kids can see ahead of them, but not around them. My son would love to have a full Castle Crasher helmet, but I’m going to make a mask that he can hold up on a stick and then take down after when he’s walking. When he tires of carrying it, he can just put it in his candy bucket. You’ll also want to make sure that the area around you child’s feet is clear, and that she’s wearing good walking shoes. I know she wants to wear her little princess pumps, but those are not the best choice for school or for trick-or-treating. Also, check the length of the costumes. Hems should not fall below mid-ankle. It is hazardous enough walking around in the dark without having to worry about tripping over your costume. For nighttime walking, avoid dark-colored clothing and have your child carry or wear a flashlight or light-up jewelry which you can easily get now at dollar stores.

Trick-or-Treating Safety

Before your children are ready to head out in search of treats, talk to them about safety. Let them know what type of behavior is expected of them. Saying “thank you” is always appreciated, but also talk to your kids about the dangers of rough-housing, playing, or running in the street, and trespassing. Advise your children against eating treats before returning home as all treats will need to be reviewed for safety prior to consumption. Remind them not to touch other people’s personal property or decorations. Your children should never go into someone’s home, even if invited. They should ring a doorbell or knock once only and visit homes which are clearly occupied and accepting visitors only. Dark houses are not welcoming trick-or-treaters and should not be visited. Let your children know that roller skates, skateboards, and bicycles are not safe modes of transportation for trick-or-treating. When the streets are filled with children of all sizes, these items can be hazardous for both the walkers and the riders.

Finally, I recommend that your children or their adult escorts carry either a cell phone or a two-way radio with enough range to reach home. Make sure that all parties involved are aware of the expected return time and have a watch so they can keep an eye on the time and arrive home as expected.

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