contributed by a viewer
364 days of the year we tell our kids, 'Don't take candy from strangers!' And then on Halloween we send them out to take candy from every stranger they can find. And we call our children confusing!
Halloween can be fun, exciting and a whole lot safer if you review some Halloween safety tips and prepare a bit before they go out:
- NEVER eat candy until your parents have had a chance to look at it.
- As a parent this is very stressful' what the heck are we supposed to be looking for' I'm a mom, not a forensic scientist?!? If anything is unwrapped or if you are at all uncertain, throw it away. Have an extra stash of candy to replenish your child's supply. (To be honest, I throw a LOT away' I figure an extra $10 spent on replacement candy for my child's safety and my peace of mind is well worth it' ).
- We are quite good friends with the neighbours on the block and we package special, big treats in closed paper bags for each others kids, complete with name, phone number written on the front. As an extra precaution, you could even distribute special stickers for the people on your block to use to ensure they were the givers of the treat bags. For most of the kids, the block plus the community center Haunted House is enough trick or treating for them anyways.
- Stay with a big group (preferably including an adult!). Stress the importance of not splitting up (if 'Johnny' is cold and wants to go home, EVERYONE should walk him home before continuing to trick or treat). Just in case your child ends up being 'Johnny', let the children know before they go out that when the group returns safely with your child, there will be an extra special treat waiting for them (make it worth their while to stick together!)
- Obey traffic laws, don't run out between parked cars, stay on the sidewalk, don't take shortcuts through back alleys or parking lots!
- If your children are going out alone (without an adult), designate a route together before they leave.
- Stress the importance of them staying on that route, so if something does happen there's a chance of finding them!
- Talk to them about the fact that you are trusting them to go out on their own and that with trust comes responsibility!
- If they are going out alone, make sure they have a flashlight and money for a phone call.
- NEVER enter a stranger's house. They may have THE COOLEST haunted house and THE COOLEST candy on the block, but they are still strangers. TALK TO YOUR KIDS about this! If the child absolutely must see the house, let them know that you would be willing to accompany them later in the evening. Or, better yet, many companies, zoos, etc have started putting on haunted houses the day or two before Halloween' attend one with your children to get it out of their system.
- Only visit houses that have lights on. Not everyone enjoys Halloween' talk about and respect the differences in people's views!
- Wear a bright costume. If
your costume is not bright enough (or even if you think it is!), put some
reflective tape on the back and front. This
can be done in a way that goes well with the costume'
- in the shape of a bat for batman, a witch or a vampire,
- as an outlined fringe on a cape,
- as moon shapes for a witch or a wizard,
- in a skull and crossbones shape for a pirate.
- Don't wear masks -- use makeup instead. If the costume comes with a mask and the child MUST wear it, have them put it on top of their head (like a hat). They can then bow their heads to show the mask.
- For those of you in colder climates (like us), make sure you think of the season when you are making or buying the costume!
Hats and mittens are a must has a lot of costume ideas with baseball caps' these can be easily modified to use winter hats.
Cloaks can be used instead of the capes that come with store bought costumes. They're VERY simple to make (they have to be... I can't sew *grin*) and can be made with fleece or other warm fabric. I highly recommend adding them to any cold weather costume!! How to make a No-Sew Cloak