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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Child Safety Tips for Halloween

Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year, for children and adults alike. Derived from Pagan rituals, Halloween has evolved into something commercialized, sanitized, and secularized. That doesn't bother me, though, nor should it bother you. We can all use it as an excuse to have a good time.

For at least a few decades now, many adults have made it known that they don't want to be mere candy door greeters. So there's a possibly over one billion dollar industry for adult Halloween costumes. Many workplaces have Halloween parties, and there are many adult Halloween parties at bars, clubs, and friends' houses, too.

I've seen a lot in the 25 Halloweens I've seen so far, so I have some 'dos & don'ts' for readers. I'm trying to cover all the bases here. Enjoy!

Make sure your kids are wearing safe costumes.

As much fun as masks are, I've been taught time and time again that most masks don't offer kids enough vision for them to behave safely. Either have your kids wear masks with large eye holes, or paint their faces instead.

Have your kids wear costumes that aren't too long to trip over. Young children can get really excited on Halloween night, and that makes tripping over their costumes more probable.

If at all possible, make sure your child's costume is visible to others, motorists in particular. If your kid is going to wear a black witch costume like I did for a few years, talk your kid into letting you put orange reflective strips on it. Those can be purchased at most Halloween shops and department stores. Lighter-colored costumes are also good for visibility.

Keep a close eye on your children.
As I mentioned before, little kids can get really excited on Halloween night, and they'll likely want to run around. Make it clear to your children that they are to stay near you at all times. If you are an adult supervising children for Halloween, don't have more than three kids per adult. So, if you're taking a lot of kids, have extra adults with you.

This might sound obvious to you, but if you're supervising children for Halloween, don't be drunk, stoned, or otherwise high while you're out with them. To ensure your kids' safety, and your own as well, make sure you 'trick or treat' sober. If you're going to drink on Halloween night, do so after the kids are in bed.

When your kids are at a door, make sure you aren't more than ten feet away. And, never let your kids enter a stranger's house.

Inspect your kids' candy before you let them eat it.
Throw out anything that isn't in factory-sealed packaging. Little wrapped candies are okay. Also make sure you throw out anything that looks tampered with. For several early Novembers in a row, I've read media stories about people putting razor blades or poisons in candy. Chances are, all the houses your kids will visit will be full of nice people. But, make sure you don't become a statistic.

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