It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween, and for millions of kids all over the country, this uber-popular day of celebration is met with fun costumes, cool pumpkin carvings, thrilling ghost stories and candy galore. As a parent, you’re naturally going to be concerned about keeping your little one safe during all of the festivities, so keep the following tips in mind to ensure a thoroughly spooktacular Halloween.
* Whether you’re purchasing or making a costume, go for brighter colors that will be easily visible at nighttime. It’s also a good practice to strategically place some strips of reflective tape on various sections of the costume to help drivers see your child in the evening.
* Speaking of costumes, be sure to choose one made from fire-retardant materials, and if you’re making the costume yourself, use flame-resistant materials such as polyester or nylon.
* If your child’s costume includes some kind of hat, headpiece or helmet that seems a little too big (which is almost always the case, right?), be sure to make the needed adjustments so that their vision won’t be hindered.
* The “oversized rule” applies to clothing as well; you don’t want your little Elsa tripping over her gown all night, so if you need to perform some subtle hemming or safety pin wizardry to make the costume fit a little better, go for it.
* If your child’s costume includes any kind of props such as a sword, knife, scepter, etc., make sure that it’s made of a bendable material (e.g. rubber, foam or soft plastic) so that it won’t pose a safety hazard.
* Give your child an easy-to-carry flashlight with fresh batteries.
* If you’re doing any pumpkin carving, don’t allow your little one to handle the knife. They can draw their desired design on the pumpkin with a black marker, but then you or an older sibling should do the actual carving.
* For trick-or-treating time, your child should always be under your supervision, or that of another trusted adult. This doesn’t mean that you have to “hover” over your child every second, but you should definitely keep an eye on them as they go from house to house. Depending upon the age of your child, you can determine whether it’s okay to give them a little independence and allow them to approach each home as you stand back, or if you need to be a little closer to provide more guidance.
* If your child’s costume includes a full-fledged mask, make sure that it doesn’t hinder their vision or obstruct their breathing.
* Keep your kids on sidewalks as much as possible, but also make sure that they understand how to obey signs and traffic signals.
* Even though your little one will be more than eager to dig into their candy haul, take the time to inspect all candy and food to ensure that everything is on the up-and-up. Many parents have adopted the rule that as long as the candy is prepackaged and from a well-known manufacturer, it’s fair game, but home-baked goods and other similar items (popcorn in ziploc bags, etc.) are better left alone. Just remember this basic rule: When in doubt, throw it out!
Halloween is a great time for making special memories with your little one. Put the above tips into practice to ensure that your child has a safe, fun and spooktacular time!