Monday, 31 October 2011

Tips for Parents on Halloween

This morning, we talked about what to teach your kids to keep them safe on Halloween. We outlined an easily memorisable acronym,"STAY SAFE," that will help to ensure that your kids understand the risks associated with trick-or-treating. On Saturday, we outlined tips that will help you keep your property safe from hooligans and pranksters.

Now we're going to discuss what extra measures parents can take to keep their kids safe on Halloween.
  • Send them out on a full stomach. One of the most important things to impart to your children is that they need to have you check their loot before they start eating. Any unwrapped or otherwise unsafe-looking food should be discarded. To help deter your kids from being tempted to sample their catch, feed them a fulfilling meal before they leave -- not enough to make them overly full, but enough to make candy a less appealing option. 
  • Take special care with young children. Young children may not able to eat gum, peanuts and hard candy. It's important that when you're vetting your childrens' candy that you remove these items so that there's less risk of him or her choking. 
  • Have them bundle up. Your kids may not understand just how cold it can get on Halloween! October 31st can be quite mild or extremely cold. It's important when sending your kids out that they are prepared for the weather. Baggy costumes work particularly well because you can put a layer underneath without covering up the costume. 
  • Choose brightly coloured costumes, or apply reflective strips. One of the biggest threats on Halloween is traffic. Dressing your children in brightly coloured costumes will help to make them visible to drivers. If their costumes are not very colourful and could be difficult to see at night, place a reflective strip on the front and back of the costume.
  • Clear the front yard and walk. Be sure there is nothing on the front walk or front lawn that could cause a child to trip or fall. If it snows on Halloween, be sure there is no ice on the walk. 
Halloween is a great time for kids, and it's important not to over-stress the safety aspect. Let them know that there are dangers and that certain rules should be followed, but don't make them fear everyone in the neighbourhood! 

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