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Trick-or-Treat Safety

Posted by Cheri Burcham - Parenting

"Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!" Does anyone remember that little rhyme? My favorite season is Fall and I always look forward to Halloween each year. I love the decorations, the TV specials and scary movies, the costumes - and don't forget the candy!! My son decided he was too old to trick-or-treat a few years ago, but like me, he enjoys handing out candy to all the little goblins that ring our doorbell.

Halloween is the time for all things scary. It can be fun to be scared, but not if there is real danger, so parents need to make sure their children are safe. According to Safety Kids Worldwide (www.safekids.org), on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. So, when trick-or-treating make sure that children under the age of 12 are accompanied by an adult, have everyone stick to the sidewalks and paths or walk against traffic if you have to be on the road, walk with flashlights or glow sticks, and have reflective tape attached to the costumes. This will help make children more visible for those drivers on the road. Also, parents should check the children's costumes to make sure they fit well and are not going to cause them to trip and fall, make breathing difficult, or obstruct their vision or hearing in any way. I remember the year my son's costume was his favorite book. We decorated a large box and cut out space for his head, arms and legs – but the box was so tall, it really affected his walking. After a lot of laughter, we made a few adjustments so that he could walk better and keep up with everyone else.

Older children should be instructed to stay in neighborhoods that they are familiar with, and not to walk alone, but to travel in groups. They should also be told not to enter homes, but to stay outside and with their group.

Once the children get home, they should wait to eat their treats until a parent or trusted adult goes through them and throws away anything that is opened, or looks like it could have been tampered with. It would also be a great idea to ration those sugary treats so they won't eat them all in one night! Everyone stay safe out there and have a Happy Halloween!

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