Get ready for Halloween with these tips

Halloween is almost here, and that means the kids are probably getting excited! Dressing up in a costume, going trick-or-treating, eating candy…it’s a pretty great time. But just because Halloween is full of fun, that doesn’t mean safety can take a backseat. There are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to having a happy Halloween.

Choosing a costume.

For kids who are dressing up, there are a few things to consider when choosing a costume.

  • Stay away from baggy, loose-fitting costumes or ill-fitting, uncomfortable shoes that could cause your kiddo to trip.
  • Make sure all costumes, wigs, and accessories are made of material that’s fire-resistant.
  • Try to choose bright colors and materials that will be easier for drivers to see.
  • Instead of a mask that could make it harder for your child to breathe, choose a non-toxic, FDA-approved face paint. When the trick-or-treat fun is done, take the makeup off promptly so that it doesn’t irritate your child’s skin.
  • Remember that costume accessories (swords, wands, etc.) should be of a soft, flexible material so no one will be seriously hurt if they accidentally get whacked.
  • Get some reflective tape and add it to your child’s costume and treat bag so drivers can see them.

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Trick-or-treating is a lot of fun, but there are a few ground rules that you should go over with your kids before hitting the road to get some candy, whether you have older kids who are able to go out on their own (in a group, of course) or your kids are younger and you’ll be escorting them.

  • Kids under 12 shouldn’t trick-or-treat on their own. If your kids are old enough to go with a group of their friends, make sure that you plan the route together so that you know where they’ll be.
  • Make sure your kids know to only walk on the sidewalks, and to cross at corners or crosswalks. They also need to do the left-right-left check before crossing the street.  
  • Tell your kids to only go to houses that are well-lit.
  • Give your kids the stranger-danger talk so they know not to approach unfamiliar cars.
  • Make sure your kids know to watch for pets and strangers.
  • When your kids get home, inspect their treats. Get rid of anything that’s unwrapped or homemade, or if something just doesn’t look right to you. If you have young kids, make sure to be alert for choking hazards and only let them eat age-appropriate treats.

Pumpkin carving.

If you’re going to be carving pumpkins for Halloween, make sure that you don’t lose any fingers! While carving pumpkins is really fun, you really need to be careful. If you have kids who are going to be helping, keep a close watch on them.  

  • Keep the pumpkin on a flat surface so it won’t wobble around on you.
  • Use a special pumpkin-carving kit with the right tools. These kits come with small tools that are ideal for slicing into a pumpkin.
  • If you have kids aged five or younger, let them draw faces on the pumpkins instead of carving them.
  • Light the pumpkins with votive candles.
  • Make sure to place lit jack-o’-lanterns far away from anything that could catch on fire, and don’t leave a lit jack-o’-lantern unattended. (You can avoid a home insurance claim with some fire safety!)

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While Halloween is a fun time, it can also come with some risks. Make sure to set the ground rules with your kids ahead of time so that no mishaps spoil the candy-fueled, spooky fun! From costumes to trick-or-treating to carving pumpkins, it’s important to plan ahead.

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