Preparation can insure a safe Halloween for all
Everyone here is talking about moving Trick or Treat up a day since Wednesday is supposed to be bad weather. As a kid, I would have preferred to trick or treat both nights but most parents won’t allow that. So whenever you celebrate, here are some safety tips to make this Halloween a safe one for all.
Your House Preparation
Planning to hand out treats? To make sure you’re ready for trick-or-treaters, follow these tips:
- Clean up.Put away anything trick-or-treaters could trip over, such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations. Clear wet leaves, snow or other debris from the sidewalk.
- Turn the lights on.Replace any burned-out bulbs to ensure good visibility at the walkway and front door.
- Control your pets.Take no chances that your pet might be frightened and chase or bite a child at your door.
- Consider sugar substitutes.Instead of handing out sugar-laden treats, try stickers, fun pencils, rubber insects or colored chalk. Or put out a teal pumpkin alerting those with food allergies you have alternatives. See Halloween and Teal Pumpkins for more information.
On Halloween Night
- Get in on the fun.Accompany trick-or-treaters younger than age 12. In case you get separated, if you don’t have an icoebracelet, then pin a piece of paper with your child’s name, address and phone number inside your child’s pocket. Encourage older kids to trick or treat with a group of friends, parents or older siblings. Make sure someone in the group has a flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Set ground rules.If your child will be trick-or-treating without you, plan and discuss a familiar route and set a curfew. Review safety rules, including staying with the group, walking only on the sidewalk, approaching only clearly lit homes, and never going inside a home or car for a treat. Have your child carry a cell phone for the evening so that he or she can contact you. And make sure they wear their icoebracelet if they have one.
- Inspect treats before indulging.Don’t let your child snack while he or she is trick-or-treating. Feed your child an early meal before heading out, and inspect the treats before allowing your child to dive in. Discard anything that’s not sealed, has torn packaging or looks questionable. If you have young children, weed out gum, peanuts, hard candies and other choking hazards. If your child has food allergies, check candy labels carefully. Even hard candies may be manufactured in facilities that process nuts, milk, soy, wheat, egg or other allergens.
- Ration the loot.If your child collects gobs of goodies, dole out a few pieces at a time and save the rest. You might even ask your child if he or she would like to swap some — or all — of the candy for something else, such as a special toy, book or outing.
- Plan a party.Consider planning a trick or treat party with a couple of neighbors instead of house-to-house door knocking. Decorate the garages, have a costume contest, and plan games and prizes. Check local schools, malls and churches to find other safe celebration options.
If you’ll be driving on Halloween, watch for children who might pop out between parked cars. Be especially careful entering or leaving driveways and alleys. Extra caution can help ensure Halloween safety for everyone.
Until Next Time!
About the Author: Michele Redmon is the owner of I.C.O.E. Bracelets (that is not her on the broomstick in the photo above). She loves the peace of mind these bracelets provide to parents, grandparents and children. With customer service a priority, she loves talking to her customers so drop her a line at email@example.com.