Ghosts and goblins and Donald Trump, oh my? Yes, it’s that time of year when costumed kids of all ages show up in the streets, malls, and parking lots of stores. Is there anything new to say about Halloween that we don’t already know? Here are some reminders based on an article from www.mayclinic.org to keep this spooky holiday safe for everyone.
Whether you don a homemade or store-bought costume, make sure to wear something with bright colors. If the costume doesn’t come with it, add a strip or two of reflective tape so your kids can be seen during dark hours. If you accompany your kids, put some on what you’re wearing, too. Add tape to the treats bag for extra measure.
If the temperatures are dropping, be sure your kids are dressed warmly.
Skip the masks and use make up if the costume requires it.
Trick or Treating
If you don’t go with your children, set some ground rules. Plan and discuss a familiar route and set a curfew. Review safety rules, including staying with the group, walking only on the sidewalk, approaching only clearly lit homes and never going inside a house or car for a treat. If your children don’t have a cell phone, let them borrow one for the evening.
Taking your dog can add a measure of fun and perhaps some safety. Yes, dogs can wear a costume, but be sure it is safe and he can see and be seen.
Inspect treats carefully. If you do not know the people who gave you the treats, put them in a smaller, separate bag to check when you get home. Discard any treat that has an open wrapper or if it isn’t sealed.
Give younger children a small bag to hold treats and offer to hold a larger bag of their collective loot. This will help you sort through potential choking hazards, peanuts or other treats that might not be appropriate for them.
Ration the collection. Allow each child to have a few treats now and save some for later. If they gather a huge portion, set aside some in the freezer or donate to a nonprofit food pantry or save to send to soldiers serving overseas.
Hosting a party
If you decide to stay at home and host a party, keep in mind some of the same rules but consider adding a costume contest, games and plan for lots of prizes and food goodies.
Substitute sugar-laden treats for stickers, fun pencils, rubber insects or colored chalk. These can be found at many stores and won’t frighten your budget.
Decorating pumpkins can be a great activity. Let young children use markers or glue and glitter. Monitor anyone using knives or sharp objects.
Clean up the yard
If you’ve added outdoor decorations, be sure they are clearly marked. Cover any cords or wires to prevent trick-or-treaters from tripping.
Clear any garden hoses, toys, bikes or planters as well.
Be sure the yard and porch are well lit. If you choose to use candle luminaries, check them throughout the evening for safety. Glow sticks and battery-operated flameless candles might be a safer option.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!