Have a Safe Halloween

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Pictures, Images and PhotosThis how-to is about keeping children safe while trick-or-treating. Halloween is a time of fun and in a good community, things will generally be fine. However, it always pays to take precautions on a cold, dark night when kids are running around streets where there are also cars, potholes and ghouls in the backyards...

Start safety considerations with the costume: Provide highly visible costumes for your child. Bright colors, reflective parts or tape are key elements to ensure that your child can be easily seen at night. If your child has a dark costume, add reflective tape, tags or buttons. Ensure that the costume fits well and is comfortable. A costume that is dragging or shoes that are too big are just setting the scene for a tripping child. And nothing is as miserable as blistered feet and blocks to go to get home when a child has ill-fitting shoes. Sew up loose ends, baggy sleeves or legs and choose shoes that fit well.

Make sure that children do not wear anything that obscures the vision. Masks are best left for the party back at home unless an older, responsible person is holding the child's hand while crossing roads. Or, make sure masks have very large eye holes for children to see through clearly. Leave the sharp and pointy props at home in case they accidentally stab someone in the eye or a child falls on them. If you do want to have some props, make sure they are soft, without sharp edges, flexible and bend when pushed. Keep kids warm and dry. Watch the weather forecast to be sure the costumes will be suitable for the conditions. Nothing worse than having a cold the day after Halloween. Even candies cannot cure sore throats and runny noses.Use non-toxic make-up only. Check the ingredients of make-up used on children very carefully to ensure that it doesn't contain ingredients harmful to children. Also take care when applying false eyelashes, eyebrows, nails etc. - anything that sticks to a young child's skin may cause pain on removal.Think road, driveway and path safety. Children must be highly visible to people driving cars. In addition, a child must be able to clearly see where he or she is walking - some paths leading up to house doors are poorly lit, have stairs or uneven surfaces that children can trip on. Provide a source of light to help. Give your child a flashlight. Flashlights are very important if children are going to make their rounds in the dark, particularly when crossing roads. There are special Halloween ones if you'd like but ordinary ones will do just fine. The type of flashlight with a bright orange cone is especially visible to drivers.

Add glowsticks. Although glowsticks should not be relied upon as a light source, as an addition to a flashlight, they can help to make your child highly visible. Tell children that they must only cross roads at lights, corners or pedestrian crosswalks. Discourage kids from riding their bikes or skateboards. Well lit areas with good sidewalks may seem safe, but many parents drive their children around, and so there is much more driveway traffic than usual. Check the town trick-or-treating hours. Some towns have set times for trick-or-treating and if they do, make sure to follow these and have your child home on time.Consider physical and emotional safety issues. Young children may be scared by some Halloween displays and should never trick-or-treat unaccompanied. If you do not accompany older children, you should be aware of where your children intend to trick-or-treat and set some basic ground rules about house visits and return times.

Ensure escorts for young children. Young children are those under 9.[6] Have an adult or older teen siblings go along trick-or-treating for children in this age group. If there is a group from your neighborhood, it may be safer for your children to go with them, there is safety in numbers. Forbid children from ever entering a house. Unless it is the home of a relative or very close family friend, make sure that your children understand to never enter a home during trick-or-treat. Even where a child enters the house of a relative or friend, the adult accompanying them should go in too. Set a route and a time of return. Do this if your kids are old enough to go out by themselves. This will allow you to backtrack them if they are late. Look at the possibility of getting walkie-talkies if your kids are going out alone. This is especially important in rural areas where there may be some distance between houses. Tell children to keep away from unleashed dogs that are barking incessantly, baring their teeth or growling. If a house has not leashed its dog for Halloween and the dog is making a ruckus, take this as a sign that the inhabitants are not interested in trick-or-treating. Better a safe child than a bitten one.
Consider candy capers. Stories of poisoned candies and treats abound. Although most accounts of poisoned candy/concealed needles have been proven false,it is always better to be safe than sorry to avoid any villainous urban legend copycat. Be vigilant and keep your child safe.

Tell children to bring the candy home first before eating it. Make sure that the candy the child eats is wrapped. Go through candy given to younger children and discard anything that is opened or tampered with. Explain to older kids to do the same thing. Also be aware to remove any treats that are too small for children under Anything that might pose a choking hazard should be discarded.Try something different from homes for trick-or-treat. If you live somewhere that you feel is perhaps a little rough or is perhaps just too dark or far for your child, consider looking for alternatives run by businesses or organizations: Check the local schools and churches to see if they have a special program running. Something like a Halloween Carnival or Fall Festival might be occurring as a substitute for trick-or-treating. Look at local shopping malls. They might have store-to-store trick-or-treating. Think manners. While not necessarily safety, manners can prevent the potential for belligerent responses from tired and grumpy old adults. Encourage your kids to be respectful to everyone, regardless of whether they get their treats. Sure, the tradition is "trick or treat", but many people choose not to recognize this holiday at all, and hard feelings can result from a small prank. And teach kids to be gracious for what they do receive.

Consider health safety. Finally, last but not least, consider your child's health. Teeth, immune systems, body weight and general health are all impacted by too much sugar. Treats should be fun but should not be overdone. Help your child keep a health diet by: Sitting down with your child and dividing up the treats. Ask your child to identify any treats he or she doesn't like and have those discarded immediately. Why eat something you don't like just because you have it? Schedule treat eating time to avoid snacking on candy throughout the day. Insist that meals be eaten as always and allow treats only after meals have been eaten. Ensure that your child cleans his or her teeth thoroughly after eating the treats. Children under 10 should be assisted in cleaning their teeth.
Ask your child to consume water at the same time as having treats. Not only is this healthier than soda and therefore less of a sugar overload but it also helps to fill them up and slow down the rate at which candy is being gulped down.

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