Halloween is almost upon us, and that means it’s time to talk a bit about safety during this candy-and-costumed themed holiday. Kids love Halloween – and what’s not to like? There’s fun costumes, candy, pumpkins, and, most importantly, trick-or-treating! But as a parent, it’s important to keep your children safe as they get ready for their Halloween fun. We’ve got some safety tips covering three major aspects of the spookiest holiday of the year – costumes, carving pumpkins, and trick-or-treating.
Phase One: Costumes
1. Make sure that the costume your child chooses fits them well, and try not to have any loose or baggy costumes. This could lead to tripping and walking hazards.
2. Consider using face makeup instead of masks, which can reduce a child’s visibility and make breathing harder. Make sure that the makeup is FDA-approved and test it on a small section of skin first. Remove it right away after the trick-or-treat fun is done – leaving makeup on can cause skin irritation.
3. Choose costumes that are made out of fire-retardant fabric.
4. Make sure that any accessories, such as fairy wands or swords, are soft and short. No need to chance someone getting hurt if they accidentally get whacked.
5. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags to help make your kids more visible as it gets dark outside.
Phase Two: Pumpkin carving
1. Choose your pumpkin-carving spot carefully. You should put your pumpkins on a flat surface so that the pumpkin is stable and won’t waddle around on you. Use dry, clean pumpkin carving tools so that nothing slips unexpectedly.
2. Make sure there’s plenty of light so that you can see what you’re doing.
3. Don’t let kids under 14 carve. Let them draw the face on their pumpkin or trace out a pattern, but do the actual carving yourself. Young children can watch, but make sure they don’t get too close to any sharp objects that they could accidentally hurt themselves with. Even teenagers need supervision as they’re carving their pumpkins.
4. Consider using a pumpkin-carving kit. You need the right tools to get the job done, after all. Creating magnificent Jack-o-lanterns is a serious business. Make sure you’re wielding the right instruments when you go to make the most amazing pumpkin ever. Carving kits come with special tools that are designed with the tough shell of the pumpkin in mind, and often the tools are smaller so that you have more control. These tools are often not super sharp, either, reducing the chance of losing a finger.
5. If you’re going to use real candles for your Jack-o-lanterns, use votive candles. You can also consider using battery-powered fake candles, as these won’t accidentally catch things on fire.
6. Speaking of things catching on fire, if you have real candles in your Jack-o-lanterns, place them away from anything that could be flammable, like curtains or furniture. Don’t leave a lit Jack-o-lantern unattended.
7. Remember, don’t put your hand inside the pumpkin and carve towards it. It might be tempting to put a hand inside the hollowed-out pumpkin to get a better grip, but keep your hands safely where you can see them.
Phase Three: Trick-or-treating
1. Teach your kids to be very careful crossing the street and to walk facing traffic.
2. Give them flashlights and glow sticks so that drivers can see them more easily.
3. Remind kids not to approach people in cars or accept candy from people in cars. Yes, this might be something you’ve told them a million times, but Halloween’s a great time for a refresher.
4. Accompany any children under 12 as they trick-or-treat. Responsible children 12 or older can go without a grown-up as long as they are in a group and tell their parents their route ahead of time. Make sure that they know the area that they’re trick-or-treating in very well – you don’t want anyone getting lost!
5. Teach your kids about watching for cars, even cars in driveways that might be backing out. Also, make sure they know not to run suddenly across the street.
6. Inspect the candy when the kids get home. Anything unwrapped or that looks like it’s been opened should be tossed. Get rid of anything that looks homemade. All candy should be factory-wrapped and sealed. Also, check for choking hazards and make sure that your child only eats candy that’s appropriate for their age.
7. Remind kids to pay attention to their surroundings. Make sure your kids aren’t looking at phones or electronics as they’re walking, as they need to be alert for approaching cars and hazards.
Halloween is lots of fun for the whole family. Kids love dressing up, and why not join them and get yourself a costume? While Halloween means there’s lots of entertainment and happy memories to be made, it’s important to take a second to think about safety so that you have both a happy and uneventful – in a good way – Halloween. We hope that these tips will be helpful to you as you prepare for the all-time spookiest Halloween!
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