It’s hard to believe, but Halloween is here again. Here are some tips to ensure that your kids stay safe while creating some memories that they’ll have for life:
Make sure that the annual pumpkin carving doesn’t end with a trip to the ER. Small children should never be allowed to use a knife to cut the pumpkin. It’s best to let them clean out the pumpkin and draw the face, then you carve out the design that they made. If your kids are older, there are carving kits that come with small saws that work better than knives. The saws reduce the chance of cuts, but you still need to closely supervise them.
Help your child pick out a costume that fits well and will be safe to wear. Verify that it’s fire proof or treated with fire retardant. If they are wearing a mask, make sure that the eye holes are large enough for them to have good peripheral vision. If your kids are carrying props such as toy swords or knives, make sure they are short, soft and flexible.
Serve your kids a good meal before trick-or-treating. They won’t be as tempted to eat any candy before you have a chance to check it. They should only eat factory-wrapped candy. Explain to your children the danger of eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Use a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and ensure others see you. Use reflective tape on costumes or bags to help drivers see you. If you have a child aged 3 or under, do not let them have glow sticks/necklaces. These items contain chemicals that although low in toxicity, will still cause stinging and burning, if ingested. Make sure that if your child uses one of these glow sticks/necklaces, they keep it out of their mouth.
If your children are young (or not so young!), be sure they know how to cross a street properly. Between the excitement of Halloween and the sugar rush, trick-or-treating can quickly turn into a track meet. They should always look both ways before WALKING across the street and should also use crosswalks, whenever possible.
If you do allow your older children to go trick-or-treating without you, make sure they are walking with a group of friends. They should only visit well-lit homes and should never enter them. You should know the route that your child will take and also give them a time to be home by. It’s sad to say, but we live in a much different world now. You will need to go online and check your state website for sex offenders. Search by your zip code and review the list of registered offenders in your area that includes street addresses. If you’ve never done this, you may be shocked at what you discover. Make sure that your kids stay away from these houses!
Teach your kids about not talking to a stranger or getting into a stranger’s car, no matter what the person says to them. Explain to them as simply as you can that some adults are bad and want to hurt children, that they should never go into a house that they don’t know, get into a car or go anywhere with a stranger. Also, tell them what to do should this happen, to scream as loud as they can to draw attention and to run away as fast as they can to someplace safe.
If you make Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for your kids, they’ll carry on the tradition with their own families some day!
If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of another, contact an experienced personal injury attorney from the Tatum Law Firm today for a free consultation.