Commentary

October 25, 2012

Make it a safe Halloween for the kids


Follow some basic guidelines for a fun and safe Halloween:

  • Trick or Treaters
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Walk, don’t run.
  • Stay on Sidewalks.
  • Obey traffic signals.
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Don’t cut across yards or driveways.
  • Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
  • Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground.
  • Shoes should fit (even if they don’t go with your costume).
  • Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
  • Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
  • Approach only houses that are well lighted.
  • Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know.

Parents

  • Have your child eat dinner before setting out.
  • Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult.
  • If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark. Children should carry a cell phone to call you or a friend.
  • If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.
  • Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home and you should know where they’re going.
  • Although tampering is rare, tell children to bring the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything.
  • Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspicious.

Homeowners

  • Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones.
  • Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them up to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
  • Battery powered jack o ‘lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
  • If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
  • Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won’t be blown into a flaming candle.
  • Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be micro-waved later.
  • Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.

Carving a pumpkin

  • Are your children begging to carve pumpkins? Make it a family affair!
  • Use markers. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with washable markers. Offer strips of brightly colored paper, costume jewels, glitter glue, washable paint or other decorations.
  • Leave the carving to an adult.
  • Invest in pumpkin cutters. With supervision, older children can carve their own pumpkins with special pumpkin cutters equipped with safety bars
  • Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended

 




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