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Safety Tips to Keep Your Children Safe on Halloween
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
Being Prepared for Halloween
Halloween is an enjoyable holiday for many people. Dressing up in costumes, face paint, and pumpkin carving are some of the fun highlights of the day. Despite the origin of Halloween, it has turned into a child-friendly event for children of all ages to enjoy. Halloween parties and Trick-or-Treating are what most children look forward to.
Keeping our children safe on Halloween, while still having an enjoyable time, can be a struggle. Keeping up with our children, while they run from one house to another, is an even bigger struggle.
As fun as Halloween can be, it can also be a stressful experience for some,
5 Safety Tips
Here are 10 tips to keep children safe on Halloween (let us assume we are dealing with younger children who require constant parental authority, ages walking through 8 years of age. Some tips will not apply to toddlers.):
1) Identify your child so he can be found in a crowd. Light up shoes can help to identify your child from a distance. If your Junior is one of 20 Spiderman figures running from door to door, and only two of them have shoes that light up when they walk, your son will be easier to find. If money is an issue and you cannot afford to buy light up shoes, then write the child's first name and your cell phone number on a small piece of paper and pin it to the back of your child's costume. This is more geared towards younger children, ages walking to 5 years old. By kindergarten, a child should know his own name and possibly his phone number.
2) Instruct your children. Before you leave your home to enjoy the Halloween festivities, lay down the ground rules with your children. Even a 3-year old can understand simple rules. This will help prevent your children from going crazy and running off when you get out of your car. Explain what you expect them to do if they are to become separated from you. Older children are mature enough to memorize phone numbers, but if they aren't and do not want a name tag on their back, write down your cell phone number on a piece of paper and have them put it in their pocket. Also, if you find a child who is lost, help him or her relocate their parents before moving on to knock on the next door.
3) Do not allow your children to eat any candy until you have inspected it. I have never had much problem in this area in all the years I have been taking kids out on Halloween. As a child, I heard horror stories about someone who put razor blades in children's candy, but I think it might have been a story my mom told me to keep me from eating the candy until we got home. But still, you never know. If any of my kids' candy is partially open, I throw it away.
4) Be a defensive driver AND a defensive walker. Watch out for cars, and hold your children's hands when crossing the street. Drivers may not see you in time if you run out from behind a large cargo van without looking first. The same principle applies to you when you are driving. Drive slowly, and take the extra time to NOT run over someone's child.
5) Consider local churches that are hosting "Trunk or Treats." This alternative is a good solution if you live in a town where you feel unsafe taking your kids Trick or Treating. These churches goal is to give children a safe and fun Halloween, without having to worry as much about their safety.
Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating on Halloween
If Trick-or-Treating on Halloween is not an activity your family will be participating in, but you still want to do something fun with your family, consider other child-friendly activities that you all can do as a group. Knocking on doors for candy is not the only exciting activity for children. You can opt for passing out treats to other kids on Halloween and taking yours to do something even more memorable.
There are many types of fun activities available at Halloween to do with your family:
- Haunted houses
- Corn mazes
- Haunted forests
- Costume parties
- Scavenger hunts
- Hay rides
Except for visiting haunted houses, most of these activities are kid-friendly. I would not suggest taking small children, such as infants and toddlers. Many haunted houses, depending on how scary and gruesome they are, have certain age requirements such as 13 years.
Halloween, despite its origin, is a kid-friendly holiday. It is a good opportunity to spend quality time with your children, and an excellent way to wear them out for bed.
During Halloween 2012, be a participating parent and do your part to ensure that all children are safe from danger. Have fun! Enjoy some of the awesome decorations that people post in their yards to help frighten children.