Some of you have years of experience with the parental rigors of Halloween, some of you may be facing the waltz around the neighborhood with your little ninjas and princesses in tow for the very first time.
Whether this is your family’s swan song or your inaugural ball, Avery offers up some timeless safety tips to help keep this year’s Halloween safe and fun for parents and children alike.
Let’s start at the very beginning. It all starts with a child’s imagination; little Suzy runs to you with eyes wide open with excitement and inspiration. A fairy princess is what she wants to be—for the third year in a row! Johnny is indulging in his fascination with superheroes, and Robbie comes out of nowhere with a desire to be a piece of fried bacon.
Whatever the artistic evolution of your children’s inner id, make sure they steer clear of injury and harm by keeping these costume guidelines in mind.
When buying costumes, make sure the clothes are fire proof or treated with flame retardant. Scrutinize outfits to avoid ill-fitting shoes and long hemlines that could cause trips and falls. Masks have long been a staple of Halloween outfits, but since they often limit or block eyesight they might not be the best choice, particularly at night. For safer options, try non-toxic face paints or fanciful hats that won’t obscure vision as substitutes.
Should you let your ghosts roam alone? Wondering whether you should allow your kids to trick or treat alone? Take advice from the experts. The Mayo Clinic advises parents to accompany any children under twelve, so don’t let your younger children trick or treat without a trusted adult. For the older ones: establish a route, set a curfew and have them carry a cell phone to enable check-ins. Here are some guidelines to give them:
- Stay in a group
- Pick only the houses with porch lights on
- Never enter a home
- Never cut across yards or use alleys
Treats and eats The zombies, robots and witches have come back successful from the hunt, and they’re anxious to compare their loot and chomp on some candy. Before the sugar explosion, examine their stash for choking hazards and any signs of tampering. Any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious treats should be thrown out immediately. Homemade treats are deliciously tempting, but make sure they were baked by someone you know very well. For younger goblins, weed out gum, peanuts, hard candies and other choking hazards.
Don’t forget the pets Pets may be forgotten in the melee of little monsters, but the constant knocking and doorbell ringing, the strangers at the door and the tempting bowls of candy can easily whip Fido into a fine frenzy. Take any pets away from the action to prevent them from chasing or biting a neighbor. Also keep in mind that chocolate is no friend to dogs and take care to hide the candy high enough to prevent your canine’s covert candy stealing.
Some final do’s and don’ts for a safe Halloween:
- Get crazy with reflective tape. It might not go with the Yoda costume or ladybug ensemble, but liberally applying reflective tape to costumes or bags means instant visibility for your little goblin.
- Remember and obey traffic laws. In the excitement and festive spirit of the holiday, grown-ups and children alike can forget street safety. Use crosswalks whenever possible, look both ways before crossing, and stay on sidewalks as much as you can.
- Check your porch lights for burned out bulbs so visiting ghosts and pirates won’t trip or fall.
- Let your children get too close to luminaries or candles. While the kids are angling for the quickest route to the candy; it’s your job to make sure that the Jedi costume isn’t straying into the flickering flame inside your neighbor’s pumpkins.
Phew! You’ve completed your primer on Halloween hazards, and you’re ready to take on one of the funnest holidays ever invented. Safe and fun wishes from your friends at Avery!