Halloween Safety Tips

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This blog was contributed by Alison Jacobson, The Safety Mom

Halloween’s almost here so before choosing a costume or planning the evening’s activities here are a few safety tips to keep in mind.

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How safe is the costume?

Many boys love dressing up as the Grim Reaper or some ghoul but be sure if their costume is all black that you put a few pieces of light-reflective tape on the front and back of their costume.  (To make it “cool” you can design it as some symbol or wording.) You can also purchase some glow bracelets or necklaces.  Regardless of whether you decide to buy or make costumes, be sure they aren’t too heavy or too long so your child can walk comfortably. The lighter and more breathable the material the better. There should be no excess material that would make walking or holding their candy bag difficult. Most schools won’t allow them to bring any weapon, spear or walking stick to school so find out first what’s permissible. When it comes to masks or face paint, check that the mask has wide enough eye, ear, nose, and mouth holes so that your child can see, hear, and breathe easily. Read the label on the face paint to be sure that it is washable from both skin and clothing.

Are they ready to go it alone?

At some point, it just won’t be cool to be out trick-or-treating with mom or dad.  So how do you know if they’re ready to go out on their own?  A lot depends on where they are going.  An apartment building or housing community located on a cul-de-sac is much safer than a busy road or remote area where there’s little lighting and the homes are spread out.  Perhaps drive them to a housing complex where you wait at the end of the street while they go trick-or-treating.  Be sure you know their route, who they are going out with (always go in a group) and they have a cell phone in case of an emergency. Establish a curfew and a few times that they must check in with you.

Check the loot.

Let your children know before they leave they should not eat ANY candy until you have said it is OK.  Children under five years of age should not be allowed to eat hard candy, caramels, popcorn or items with nuts as these are all choking hazards.  All candy should be in its own, individual wrapper and not unwrapped.

Don’t forget to sanitize

Trick or treating is a perfect way to spread germs so make sure that your little ones wash their hands well when they come home.  Also, be sure to have a mat by your door to prevent dirt and germs from being tracked in.

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