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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Safety Guide

This was posted by my friend Lindsey a few days ago on her awesome adoption blog, therhouse. I just had to share the information with Halloween here tomorrow and all!

And you know..."checking" your child's candy is so very important...especially the Reese's.

1. Costume Safety: Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground. Children should not be tripping over their costumes--that just takes the fun out of everything, not to mention the safety! Costumes should not restrict a child's movement and should be light in color so as to be seen by cars and other trick-or-treaters. If costumes are dark colored, add reflective tape/stickers/reflectors to make children more visible in the night. Costumes should be made of flame retardant material (check the label).

2. Let there be Light: Make sure each child has a flashlight with enough battery power to last throughout the night. Make sure children know how to operate their flashlights. Festive Halloween flashlights make taking a light with you even more fun! Glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets (as well has Glow Sticks) can be purchased for super cheap and allow your child to be more visible. Keep your house lit on Halloween. Lighting your driveway or walkway with that huge box of Christmas lights in your basement is a fun way to keep trick-or-treaters safe on your property. According to Sandy City Police in Utah, calls regarding vandalism increase 50% on Halloween night. However, Sandy Police say, "Light is one of the biggest deterrents for burglaries. Suspects will most likely choose a dark residence over one that has clear visibility at night."

3. Trick-or-Treating Route: Know the specific neighborhoods and homes where your children will be trick-or-treating. Give older children a specific route to follow and time to be home. Tell children it is never okay to enter a stranger's home when taking candy or car when trick-or-treating.

4. Street Safety: Make sure children walk in well-lit areas and on sidewalks. Where no sidewalks are available, walk facing traffic and as far left on the shoulder as possible. Review traffic safety with your child like looking both ways before crossing the street, not darting into traffic (no matter how cool their friend's costume is!) and using cross walks. If older children are taking younger children trick-or-treating with them, remind them to hold hands while crossing the street.

5. Candy: Remind children that it is not okay to eat candy that has not yet been inspected by an adult. Inspect every piece of candy collected by your children in the light. Discard any unwrapped, opened, tampered with or punctured items. Do not let children eat homemade treats if you don't know exactly who gave it to them. Remind children to remember their manners by saying "please" and "thank you" for candy when trick-or-treating.

6. Safety in Numbers: Younger children should always be accompanied by a responsible and aware adult. Teach children to never go trick-or-treating alone--have at least 2 friends with you. Have your kids take a cell phone with them, that way parents are always close by. Teach children that is it never okay to approach a house or vehicle by themselves.

7. Decor: Keep lit jack-o-lanterns away from any paper decorations, dried leaves, corn stalks and other items that can catch fire. Make sure those potentially flammable items are placed far away heat sources as well. Keep fire lit jack-o-lanterns away from areas where trick-or-treaters way roam--some children where paper or flammable costumes.

8. For Drivers: Pedestrian traffic increases on Halloween especially during rush-hour hours (5:30-8:30). Drive more slowly in neighborhoods and use extreme caution when pulling into and backing out of driveways and near crosswalks.

9. Pumpkin Carving: The actual carving of pumpkins is for adults. Use care when using sharp tools and knives especially around younger children. Consider using specialized Pumpkin Carving Kits that are not as dangerous as kitchen knives and power tools. According to a study in the Journal of Preventative Medicine, "These [specialized pumpkin carving] tools cause fewer and less severe injuries than serrated or plain kitchen knives.” Make sure your hands and tools are dry before using. Consider using LED battery powered tea lights or high intensity glow sticks instead of candles in your jack-o-lantern. Never leave candles unattended. Place a candle in a glass jar to keep it from tipping over. Remember to remove all the "guts" of the pumpkin when carving; when dried the strings can catch fire.

10. Review Safety Guidelines: Use this fun Halloween Safety Game!

Lindsey was a third grade teacher and she recommends to review safety guidelines:

"A great book to read to your children while teaching them about Halloween safety is Mary Howitt's classic poem, The Spider and the Fly. The version by Toni DiTerlizzi is a Caldecott Honor Book--that means it has brilliant illustrations. I used to read this book to my third graders at Halloween especially talking about the last stanza of the poem.

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counselor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

After we discussed the poem (including the awesomeness of the illustrations) and reviewed Halloween safety, I would give them a plastic spider ring to wear trick-or-treating to remind them to be safe."
Happy Halloween Everyone!
Enjoy your FREE candy...I know I will!

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