Here we are, less than a week away from the spooky fun of Halloween. Your little ones (or bigger ones…) will be transforming into witches, ghosts, ninjas, Transformers and princesses.
Here are 11 trick or treat safety tips from Debra Holtzman from her book The Safe Baby (Sentient Publications, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-59181-085-8).
Holtzman is a former lawyer and an M.A. in occupational health and safety as well as a mother of two children. She has been on many shows discussing safety including The Today Show, Dateline NBC and Martha Stewart Living radio.
Because Halloween is a little different than some holidays, safety is especially important. It’s dark; the kids are out in the neighborhood, and they may be wearing clothes that are a little different than their normal wardrobe.
Here are Holtzman’s tips to help keep kids a little safer on their trick or treating adventures:
- Go with them to trick or treat and go up to the door of each house so you can see who your child is meeting.
- Put reflective tape on your child’s costume and accessories – wear some yourself so your child feels like you’re part of it too.
- Have them carry a flashlight or light stick to see and be seen.
- Encourage your child to walk, not run. In the dark, it’s hard to see tripping hazards in unfamiliar yards. Use the sidewalks as much as possible.
- Cross streets at crosswalks and hold your child’s hand (as usual).
- Don’t let your kid munch the treats while they’re out. You want to look at everything before they eat it. Toss anything that’s open or homemade. (I also collect anything that just looks weird or unfamiliar too).
- If your child is young, collect anything that is slippery and round as that can be a choking hazard.
- Try to steer your child to wearing makeup instead of a mask. Masks can block peripheral vision, making it a safety hazard. Sometimes they’re hard to breathe in as well, which doesn’t work when kids are moving fast while trick or treating.
- Polyester and nylon fabrics make costumes more flame-resistant which is important since people may have lit candles in their jack o’lanterns (a good reason to use electric candles in yours). Cotton fabrics and anything long and flowing such as robes or capes can be hazardous.
- Consider hemming any long costumes a bit shorter so it’s easier to run around.
- Encourage sturdy shoes, as opposed to princess heels so it’s easier and more comfortable to walk in. If it’s hard to convince your child, assure them they get to wear their fun shoes for dress up and any school parties that might be happening this week.
Please see The Safe Baby for comprehensive safety tips for other holidays, for all over your house and for almost any situation. Visit her website The Safety Expert for more information about Holtzman and her books. ]]>