Halloween can be fun for children, most seem to look forward to it. Unfortunately, it can also be quite dangerous. Accidents caused by unsafe costumes, cars, and poisoning are among the dangers. Here are some ways to help keep your child safe:
If possible, find an alternative to trick or treating. You might consider having a costume party or have your child attend another one. Plan Halloween themed games, show a movie, and make little baskets of candy for each child to take home. My girls have a "candy hunt" every year. It's like an Easter egg hunt, only we hide candy around the house. You may also want to check with local schools or churches, some have Halloween activities for kids.
If you decide to allow your child to trick or treat, the safest way to do it is in a shopping mall. Most malls have stores that hand out candy to children in costume on Halloween. Call and check for the date 2 weeks ahead of time, occasionally they will have it on the nearest weekend if Halloween falls on a weekday.
If you choose to allow your child to trick or treat from house to house, please follow these safety precautions:
Accompany your child trick or treating or make sure the child or group of children is accompanied by a responsible adult you know and trust.
Make sure your child knows that they may not go in to any stranger's home, or anywhere with a stranger.
Use light colored costumes or add reflective tape to costumes so your child is visible to motorists.
Instruct your child to walk on the sidewalk facing traffic, not on the street or lawns. Make sure children know how to cross the street safely. Cross only at corners and look both ways for oncoming traffic.
Do not allow your child to eat any treat until they return home and allow you to check them. if you are not accompanying your child, make sure that your child, and an adult that is accompanying your child, knows this rule.
Please be safe! Do not allow your child to eat fruit, cookies or any other treat that is not factory packaged. Check wrappers to make sure they are sealed and there are no holes. If anything looks remotely suspicious, throw it away.
Costume safety:
Costumes should be made of flame retardant material. Costumes should be the correct length and proportions to prevent trip and fall accidents.
Masks should fit properly. They should have eye holes and not obstruct vision. Masks should also have nose and mouth holes for breathing.
Makeup should be patch tested at least 24 hours before use. To do this, clean a small area of skin, preferable on the inside of the elbow. Apply a small amount. Check the spot in 24 hours. If there is any redness or irritation, do not use the makeup. Only use makeup that is non toxic.

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