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Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

Trick or Treat

As a young child of around 5-6 I would go Trick-or-treating with my brother, (who was 3 years older) a warning not to eat any unwrapped candy, and told not to go in any ones house.
In the fall of 1982 seven people died due to Cyanide poisoning. This year was going to be my last Halloween to Trick-or-Treat since I was getting "too old". There were many warnings in the media that copycats may tamper or poison candy, so my friends and I decided to pass on the Trick-or-Treating. While the tampering incidents changed the way over the counter drugs were produced and packaged it also changed the way parents sent their kids off to trick-or-treat. Suddenly you saw parents walking (or driving) their kids around the neighborhood. Malls started to have trick-or-treat events, Museums, and Zoos have also started to have Trick-or-Treat events as well. Things seem safer now but I don't know if they are better. Halloween used to belong to the kids now it has become something else (Please leave the SUV at home and walk off the Milky Way you are going to eat when you get home). As kids we used to cover most of the town I lived in. When we were finally done trick-or-treating my pillowcase sack was filled to capacity. My candy would sometimes last past Christmas. But enough of me waxing sentimental the world is a changed place and we shouldn't put our heads in the sand and pretend it is something else. So here are some trick or treat tips for parents to ensure that your child is safe and has fun.

Feed your kids a healthy meal prior to going trick or treat.
Your children will be happier, and it will help reduce the temptation of kids wanting to eat candy along the way.

Children should be accompanied by a parent.
An Adult or Older Teen Chaperon is best but, Tweens or young teens who still trick or treat may have friends that are trick-or-treating by themselves and want to join them. If they trick or treat without an adult, set firm rules and require a child to carry a cell phone that can be used in the event of an emergency.
Older kids should know where they can go, what etiquette they must follow, safety rules, carry a flashlight or a lit device, and have a deadline for returning home.

Purchased costumes should be made of flame-retardant material. Provide adequate visibility, and be appropriate for the weather.
Comfort and safety should come before the appearance of the costume.
Make sure that there are no part of the costume that the child can trip on.
The princess high heels are probably better saved for an at home or in school party.

Know your Child's route and the places they will be trick or treating if you are not going to be present.
When Trick-or-Treating with smaller children make sure they go to the bathroom before leaving the house. And, be considerate of your child's bathroom needs by choosing a costume that is easy to get on and off in time to avoid last-minute bathroom trips, if at all possible.

Street Smarts:

The scariest thing on Halloween is traffic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, cars killed 89 child pedestrians on Halloween evening from 1975 to 1996. That's four deaths per day, which is four times higher than the average rate.
•Children should trick-or-treat only in well-lighted neighborhoods with sidewalks.
•Be sure your children can remember to cross streets at corners and to look both ways before they go.
•Make sure trick-or-treaters carry a flashlight after dark.
•Attach reflective tape to costumes and candy bags.
•Bracelets and necklaces that glow in the dark can serve as alternatives to reflective tape and also make your child more visible to a passing motorist

Inspect your Goodies:
Never allow children to eat candy before it is inspected. Any opened candy should be thrown away, and unless you personally know and trust the families who make homemade treats, they should be discarded as well. Immediately toss any items that are suspect in any way.

Set limits for how much candy your child is allowed to eat in one sitting. Portion out the candy and don't allow them to eat close to mealtime.
Happy Trick-or-Treating: and feel free to add any tips you may have


Michael said...

This was originally posted a week or so ago but I made some changes and figured it was good to send out again right before Halloween trick-or-treating

Michael said...

Halloween Safety Comic

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