|I thought this should be a necessity for all Halloween sites. These are tips on how to keep your children safe when they go trick or treating. Let's face it. We all wish that parents could be worry free sending their little ones off on Halloween night, but these days it just isn't a good idea. So aside from the major tip that parents should always go with their kids trick or treating or at least a responsible adult, here are a few others that I found in books and magazines (my notes are in parathesis):
1. Make sure costumes are hemmed so kids don't trip.
2. Stick retroreflective tape and stickers to costumes and goody bags so children are easy to spot in the dark. (Note: I'm sure a lot of kids don't want them on their costumes, but the trick or treat bag is a good idea. Probably nowadays you could even find some neat Halloween stickers that glow...I'm sure the kiddies would find those fun! :)
3. Use flashlights when trick or treating in the dark.
4. If possible, use face paint instead of a mask so a child's vision is not obstructed. (Quick note: You may also want to tell the kiddies to take off or lift up their mask when walking down the street, and only wear them when they get to a house.)
5. Remind children to obey everyday street-crossing rules.
6. Instruct kids not to cut across yards, where lawn decorations or other hazards can't be seen.
7. Remove breakable or dangerous items, such as flowerpots, tools, and ladders, from your walkway, porch, and front yard.
8. Make sure your children wait til they get home before they eat any of their candy. It's always good to inspect the candy first.
9. Dress children only in shoes that fit. Walking in too-large shoes makes falling likely. (Also, my own quick note. Not shoes that are too small. You don't want your child to have blisters for a week...trust me I know ;o) and, I personally wouldn't recommend walking in just socks, stockings, or bare feet either. We wouldn't want your child a victim of a piece of broken glass or rusty nail.)
10. Choose costumes (and beards, wigs, make-up etc) that are marked "flame retardant".
11. Establish an agreed-upon trick or treat route in your neighborhood. Make sure kids only visit homes where porches or outside lights are illuminated.
12. And last but certainly not least, my own Halloween rule that I consider VERY important. Make sure that your child (no matter what the age) doesn't go out alone. Lone children are easy targets for shadow lurkers (we all know the kind). Here's an easy rule to remember: the younger the child the more kids in the group. Perhaps try to set something up with other parents in your neighborhood, so kids can get together and trick or treat in a group.