Pumpkins, scary sounds, masks, costumes, blowing leaves, and lots of sugar, it must be October! I enjoy Halloween as much as anyone, but I do admit that, as a parent, there are precautions that must be taken to be sure my child is safe while having a good time. Before your children venture out this October 31st, go over these ten tips and explain why they are important. Yeah it’s boring and time consuming but do it anyway; it’s a parent thing!
1. Make sure children are accompanied by an adult or responsible teenager when they go door to door.
2. If children are going to be out after dark, make sure they carry a flashlight. Make a fun one yourself with a plastic pumpkin cut to fit over the front of a regular flashlight.
3. Teach your children to use the sidewalks if they can. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing cars.
4. Know which friends your children will be with and which route they are taking.
5. Leave your porch light on so children will know it’s OK to visit your home.
6. Instruct children to never to eat anything until they are home and the treats have been carefully examined. Cut and wash fruit before eating. Throw away anything unwrapped. Check the wrappers of commercial treats for evidence of tampering.
7. Look for the label Flame Resistant on purchased costumes or use fire resistant fabric or treat it with fire resistant spray if you make costumes yourself.
8. Small children should never carve pumpkins. Instead, let your child draw a face on the pumpkin with markers and paint, or use stickers to decorate.
9. Keep candles, pumpkins with candles, matches and lighters in a place that children and pets can’t reach and away from curtains and other objects that could catch fire.
10. Be extra careful when driving. Slow down and watch for children who might be so excited they forget safety rules.