Halloween doesn't have to be scary
by Children's World Learning Centers
As adults begin to look toward Halloween, they need to consider everything from safe costumes for their children to what kinds of treats to hand out.
Halloween traditionally is a holiday filled with fun, laughter, and treats. However, understandably, parents become apprehensive each year regarding the safety of this day. The following safety tips will help guide parents in providing their children with a safe and happy Halloween:
Although trick-or-treating can be safe, the dangers have caused more and more parents to consider hosting or attending Halloween parties with their children. Because planned events can be supervised by adults, the hazards of trick-or-treating are avoided.
- Avoid last-minute panic. Try to put a costume together well in advance.
- Make the costume large enough to wear over warm clothing, and short enough that your child won't trip over it.
- Don't allow children to wear masks that interfere with vision. Makeup or face paint should be used instead.
- Don't allow children to carry sharp objects. Swords and knives should be made out of cardboard.
- Do most of the trick-or-treating before dark.
- After dark, have them carry a flashlight and place reflective tape on the costume, or wear light colored clothing.
- Guide your children toward homes of their friends and people they know, staying away from unfamiliar neighborhoods. Also try trick-or-treating at an organized event within the community, such as at a mall.
- After dark, trick-or-treat only at homes with an outside light on.
- Stay on the sidewalk or paths, and off the road or lawns. Always cross streets at crosswalks or well-lighted intersections.
- Children should go trick-or-treating with a parent or older sibling. In case they get lost, children (especially under 12 years) should carry identification in a pocket or on a sleeve. It should not, however, be openly visible on their costumes.
- Although children may be concerned about getting poisoned candy, assure them that this is largely a myth and rarely occurs.
- Parents should inspect treats and discard candy with open or torn wrappers. If this is done carefully, treats don't need to be x-rayed.
- Parents should develop their own rules about the amount of candy a child can eat. If a child has eaten a normal dinner, having excess candy on Halloween night shouldn't cause any problems.
- If your child is hyperactive or drowsy on the day after Halloween, it probably is due to inadequate sleep rather than sugar intake.
- Give out a variety of treats to trick-or-treaters and try to make them nutritional.
If you are planning a Halloween party at home, get the children actively involved in decorating your recreation room or other area where the party will take place. Activities for the party can include bobbing for apples, musical chairs, and other traditional party games. To avoid choking accidents, make sure that children do not eat while running or playing. Add to the fun by giving out small prizes for the most imaginative, scariest, and most humorous costume, and by providing nutritional Halloween treats.