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Mind Your Munchkins
Halloween Safety Checklist

Halloween is still a night for pint sized goblins, ghouls and witches to prowl the streets in search of rewards. Trick-or-treat is just as popular now as it ever was, but parents are a little more aware of the safety issues involved than the previous generations were. While some parents decide to skip the whole thing or just have a small gathering of playmates at a safe home, others remember the fun and hate to have their children miss it.

Trick or treat can be fun for both parents and kids if you just...

  1. Halloween batKeep the lights on - both inside and out - to welcome and protect trick-or-treaters. Many communities have a policy that says a house with lights on is open to visitors on Halloween - darkened porches are off limits.

  2. Be friendly, but don't invite trick-or-treaters inside - you wouldn't want your children going into a stranger's home...even if you know the children, you may cause a fright of your own when their mom turns around and discovers her ghost has vanished!

  3. Get creative - create a costume using makeup instead of a mask. The non-toxic makeup available in most toy stores works wonders and kids love face painting! If you do use a mask, make sure the eyeholes are large to allow full vision - and that they are over the trick-or-treater's eyes. If the mask doesn't fit right - don't use it.

  4. Costumes should be light-colored and/or decorated with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or goddie bags should also be light-colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores. Kids love carrying flashlights —the beam can help you trace them, make them visible to oncoming cars, and if they hold it under their chins they can make scary faces!Halloween pumpkin

  5. Costumes, masks, beards and wigs should be made of flame resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester. Look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. "Flame retardant" is not the same thing!

  6. Costumes should be well-fitted. Little ghosts and goblins can trip and fall if their costumes drag on the ground...

  7. Decorate the house as spooky as you want... but keep candles, luminaries and Jack-o'-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where little one's costumes could brush against the flame.

  8. Always accompany your young Munchkins on their trick-or-treating route. Consider throwing a party for your Munchkins and their friends, complete with Halloween-decorated treats at the end of the evening. That way you can keep the trick-or-treating close to home and make the route short - just a few friendly neighbors. The party waiting at home will make ending the festivities in the street a bit easier.

  9. If your older trick-or-treaters go out without an adult, they should always be in a group... and you should know their route. If there is a spare cell phone, make sure one of the kids has it and that you know the number!

  10. Make sure the treats you offer are wrapped and sealed, and carefully inspect your children's treats before letting them dig into their riches. While home baked cookies and fruit may seem a healthy alternative, even these can be dangerous treats coming from a stranger.Halloween witch

  11. Remind your children of everyday safety ... don't ride in strangers' cars, don't go into strangers' houses... Pay attention to the traffic laws - go on green, stop on red and look left, right, left before crossing. If they are walking in the road, single file is the safe way to go... with the flashlights on!

  12. Keep the whole neighborhood safe by reporting any suspicious activity to the police by dialing 9-1-1. Don't worry about calling for nothing, the police are out and about anyway... trying to prevent any older tricksters from getting out of hand. They'll swing by your area to make sure that the only scary creatures on your block are pretend.

Be Safe and Have a Happy Halloween!

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

also see in Halloween -> Healthy Halloween Treats

Halloween Alternatives - Safe Celebration Ideas

More Halloween safety tips from around the Web:

Halloween Safety Guide

 

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