Halloween is the day we eat sweet treats, dress-up in costume, attend parties and go trick-or-treating. Also, Halloween is the perfect opportunity to teach children about safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind this Halloween:
• Help your child pick out or make a costume that it is fire proof or treated with fire retardant. Also, if they are wearing a mask make sure the eye holes are large enough to deliver good peripheral vision.
• Make sure that your child carries a pre-programmed cell phone on Halloween night. Also, make sure all the important numbers are programmed and ready for use.
• Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls. Keep candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children and never leave them unattended.
• Gently remind friends and neighbors to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
• In most cities it's not safe to let kids walk the streets by themselves. Your best bet is to make sure an adult chaperones trick-or-treating. If you can't take them yourself, see if another parent or two can.
• Pre-plan the route your kids will be taking during trick-or-treating. Tell your kids to check in every hour either by phone or by stopping back at home.
• Establish a firm return time from trick-or-treating. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time or to call immediately if something happens and they are going to be delayed.
• Surf the internet and check your local state website for sex offenders. Almost every state has one, just do a search for your state sex offender site. Look up your zip code and it should have a list of registered offenders in your area that includes street addresses. Make sure that your kids stay away from these houses.
• Explain to kids of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem funny but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, that clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone.