Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kids Love a Safe Halloween

With the ghoulish season of Halloween quickly descending upon us, it once again falls upon the shoulders of parents and neighbours alike to ensure that the kids have a safe and fun night of trick or treating.

When selecting a neighbourhood to invade with your little monsters, it is of course best to stick to what you know. Stay close to communities that you are familiar with and people who are friendly with your family. Exploring new communities is not necessarily a bad idea, particularly if your child is attending a Halloween party in a friend's neighbourhood. It just means that some more attention should be paid to the kinds of treats and candy being brought home.

Going through your child's stash after an evening of trick or treating is both fun and essential. You will find treats that are throw backs to when you were a child and probably see some things that you have never heard of before. However, it is important to make sure that only the safe choices remain. You may also want to try and make healthy choices and get rid of the pure junk. However, let's face it, the junk is some of the best stuff.

Factory sealed treats are your best bets. Get rid of anything that isn't wrapped. That means you should toss the apples and bananas out the window. Not literally, but you know what I mean. Although there have been stories for generations about the noxious substance or hazardous something in some kid's apple found in the suburban town of Somewhereville, for the most part this was a powerful urban myth. That being said, best to save your produce shopping for the grocery store and say no to the fruits on Halloween.

You should also stay away from packages of things that your neighbours made themselves. It could be different if you have known the people in question for a long time but for the most part err on the side of safety and stick to factory packed goods only. If you have real little ones, stay away from the small hard candies. They are no good for the new teeth, or the old ones for that matter, and they have always posed a choking hazard. Oh, and in this writer's opinion, get rid of the candy corn. That stuff serves no purpose, it is pure crap and there are so many other great choices out there. It is time to lay the candy corn to rest. Permanently!

Costumes are going to come in a wide and steady variety. Best to always keep it simple. Avoid all costumes with strings or ties that have to go around your child's neck. Also, do away with capes and flowing gowns. When the kids are running around at night, these types of costumes can cause the kids to trip and hurt themselves and also constitute a choking hazard.

Do your best to sell the kids on make up for their faces as opposed to masks. Although masks can be fun, they pose different kinds of hazards in that they are usually cheaply made, can cause irritation and limit visibility at night. Best to keep the kids eyes and vision clear especially when they may have to cross the street several times during the evening. Going with make up instead of masks will also keep the kids cool and comfortable. You don't want to have to manage one or more irritable kids running from house to house during the course of the evening.

As for the costumes themselves, go with bright and reflective. You always want to be sure the kids can be seen from the street. If your child is insistent on a costume that is drab, dark and goulish, be sure to add reflective strips, also important for those moments when your child is going across the street. Have fun and be safe.

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