Now that the sun is setting earlier every day, it means Halloween is just around the corner. As the ghouls and goblins in your house start to get the trick-or-treating itch it's important to remember that having a fun Halloween means safety first.
According to a SafeKids.org study, it's estimated that almost 75% of children will trick-or-treat this year. Now, although more child fatalities occur between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Halloween than that same time any other day of the year, taking a few steps when choosing a costume and candy route can go a long way.
Whatever costume your kids choose this year make sure that it fits well but its flexible and moves. If the costume is too loose or long, your child may trip over or tear the costume. Find outfits that are brightly colored that will make it easier for drivers to spot your kids while you're walking around the neighborhood. If the costume is dark, try attaching reflective strips to the costume on the back and front.
Make sure that all costumes are made of flame-resistant material and all face makeup is non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
Before Halloween, determine the route your family will take making sure that it's well lit. You can also reach out to other families in the neighborhood about creating large walking groups of kids and adults. If you're going to trick-or-treat past sunset, remember that everyone should carry a flashlight.
Don't forget that you may be walking on roads, which are still open to car traffic. Stay off to one side of the road and follow all safety precautions you normally would take if you were walking or riding bike. Take extra time to actively look for cars at intersections, medians and on curbs.
Safe Home Front
If someone is going to stay behind at the house to meet trick-or-treaters, make sure to have the walkway to the house well lit and clear of all debris. If you have large or loud pets, put them away for the evening so you don't have to worry about them escaping when you open the front door.
Instead of sugary treats, consider handing out healthier snacks such as individual packs of raisons, trail mix or pretzels, or items such as stickers, Play Doh, glittery pencils or rubber bracelets.
If you have older, high school kids who want to trick-or-treat with friends and without mom or dad, establish where they will be going and communicate every half hour. Some say that Halloween is the start of the busy holiday season. Making it a fun but safe celebration will start get your holidays off to a great start.