Halloween will be here before we know it! It is a fun time that should be full of wonderful memories for your child. But those memories could be marred by injury or other mishap if you do not take care to ensure that your child has a safe and happy Halloween. Here are some Halloween safety tips for you and your child.
Choosing a Costume
Selecting a Halloween costume is one of the most important things to consider. You should pick a costume with material that is flame retardant. Even though most people light their jack-o-lanterns with other less dangerous methods, some people still use the traditional candle. If a pumpkin should get knocked over or your child somehow gets too close to an open flame, a fire resistant costume could help prevent a disaster. The material should also be either light in color or brightly colored, so your child can be seen easier in the dark. This may prove difficult if your child is dressed as the Grim Reaper, Dracula, or some other character who traditionally wears all black. In that case, you could place reflective tape on the costume or sew a glow stick or two on it. The costume should also fit properly and be several inches above the ankles, as you do not want your child tripping over it. In addition, make sure footwear fits well to prevent blisters that could make it hard to do all that walking. If shoes have laces, make sure they are not too long, and are tied tightly.
Try to use face makeup instead of a mask. There are some costumes where it would be difficult or impossible to achieve the right effect with makeup. If a mask is necessary, make sure the eye holes are large enough for your child to see clearly. For extra safety, they should leave the mask off until they are approaching a house, then take it off again. If your child’s character calls for accessories like daggers, guns and other weapons, be sure that they are not realistic in appearance and are made of a harmless bendable material. Some toy weapons are so realistic that they can be mistaken for real ones, especially in the dark.
Carving the Pumpkin
Carving the pumpkin can be a terrific family activity. Even though there are pumpkin carving kits available that are somewhat safer, it is still best to have an adult do the actual carving. Let your child draw the face and scoop out the pumpkin seeds. Do not light your jack-o-lantern with a candle. Instead you can use specially made battery powered lights that do the job just as well. If you don’t have the time or energy to carve a pumpkin, you don’t have to give up having one. There are realistically detailed plastic Jack-O’Lanterns for sale that have a flickering candle inside that is powered by a battery.
Safety Tips for Halloween Night
Dish up a hearty dinner for your little goblin before unleashing him out on the neighborhood. With some luck, this will help him suppress the temptation to eat any candy before he returns home. In recent years, children go trick-or-treating in groups, with parents supervising from the street. It is very rare to see a child under 10 who is not in a group accompanied by bored parents standing in the street.
If you don’t want to go out on Halloween, nsist that your child go out in a group. You will not have any complaints from small children. However, at some point older children no longer wish to be seen with their parents and will want to go out with their friends. Here you may be able to enlist a trustworthy older teenager to accompany them. Never let your child venture out alone no matter what his age.
Before your child sets out, discuss trick or treating rules with him. Explain how important it is for him not to eat anything before he comes home. Instruct him to obey all traffic signals and rules like looking both ways before crossing a street and only at the crosswalk. Also, he should stay on the sidewalk and walk, not run. Cutting across yards can be hazardous because there may be a garden hose, rocks or other obstacles that he may trip over. Warn him not to use a remote shortcut, but to stay on populated streets. Remind him to stay with the group so as not to get lost. Trick or treating should only be done at houses with porch lights on. Anyone who turns off their porch lights on Halloween is probably signaling that Trick-or-Treaters are not welcome. Caution him not to go into anyone’s house or car.
If your child is old enough to trick-or-treat without adult supervision, he is almost too old to go at all! But if he is with friends, he should have the following items with him: a wristwatch, enough coins to be able to make several phone calls and a lightweight flashlight with fresh batteries. Be sure to know the route he will take and that it is in a safe area. Settle on a time that he must be home. Most very young children trick or treat while it is still daylight, or right after dinner. There are only a handful of older kids out after 9 pm, and most families have run out of candy or for whatever reason decided to turn off their lights by then.
Checking the Candy
Once your child returns home with his loot, you must inspect it thoroughly before he consumes any of it. Throw out anything that looks suspicious, such as items that are unwrapped, appear to have been tampered with or are homemade. Examine fruit for any cuts or holes. Wash, peel and cut it into pieces before giving it to your child. For younger children be careful of toys and candies that may be a choking hazard.
By following these sensible Halloween safety tips, your child’s memories will be of a holiday that was filled with treats instead of tricks or injuries.