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Halloween Safety Tips

As school starts and fall begins, Halloween is a tradition that children look forward to. As you and your family go about picking out a costume or getting your house ready for trick-or-treaters, there is some important safety information that you should keep in mind.

How to have a safe and happy Halloween

  • Costume craziness. If your child will go trick-or-treating, make sure his costume is bright, reflective, weather-appropriate, and flame resistant. Make-up should be washable and non-toxic. Also make sure his footwear is comfortable and fits well, and that he will not trip over any parts of the costume. If a costume involves a mask, make sure your child is able to see and breathe comfortably. If it involves accessories, that are pointed, such as swords, broomsticks, or magic wands, make sure these are soft and not sharp. Also keep in mind that you will most likely end up carrying the accessory! You don't necessarily need to purchase a costume - look around the house, be creative, and see what you can put together!
  • Trick-or-treating tips. If your child will be trick-or-treating, make sure he goes with another trusted adult, and try to send him with a group of other children. Have him carry a flashlight so he can see and others can see him. If possible, the adult accompanying your child should carry a phone. Encourage your child to only go to homes of known neighbors and friends, and remind him not to go inside a stranger’s house or talk to a stranger in a car. Go over rules for crossing the street with your child. If trick-or-treaters will visit your home, make sure that it is well lit. Be mindful of any pets, and clear away wet leaves and anything visitors could trip over.
  • Alternate activities. If you live in an area where trick-or-treating might not be a practical activity, you can find a creative activity for your child to do instead. Organize a costume party for your child and some friends with games and treats. You can also go to another neighborhood that is trick-or-treating friendly. Check with a local mall to see if trick-or-treaters are welcome. If you live in the Boston area, you can take your child to Pru Boo! From 11am – 1pm on Sunday, October 26 at the Prudential Center in Boston, with a $4 donation children will be able to trick-or-treat at stores, get their face painted, and participate in other activities. For more information, visit http://www.prudentialcenter.com/events/premier_event_detail.php?id=205.
  • Halloween for teens. Many communities have a cut-off age after which children can no longer go trick-or-treating. Make sure you know your teen’s whereabouts for the evening. Younger teens can participate in the fun by handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Older, responsible teenagers can take a younger child around the neighborhood. If you have a younger child, have him share his treats with his older sibling, or get your teenager a Halloween treat.
  • Sweet treats. Try handing out a healthy treat to trick-or-treaters, such as pretzels, raisins, or even non-food treats like Halloween pens and pencils. Remind your child not to eat any of his goodies until you sort and check them at home. Throw away any treats that look spoiled, open, unfamiliar, or suspicious. Both pediatricians and dentists agree that parents relax when it comes to candy consumption on Halloween. It is a special occasion, and forbidding your child to eat candy will make him want it more. Make the fun last and keep your child healthy by rationing your child’s intake of his treats to one piece a day. If he eats candy at night, make sure he brushes and flosses his teeth.

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