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It’s October, time to scout for costumes, dig out treat buckets, and hang the cat. Uh, the black paper cat, that is. It’s also a good time to review a few simple tips to keep your trick-or-treaters safe.
Costume safety. Choose well-fitting costumes made of fire resistant materials, such as polyester and nylon, and have a Flame Resistant label. Wear comfortable shoes good for walking long distances. If a mask is in order, use FDA-approved makeup instead of slip-on masks. Should your child insist on a “real” mask, make certain it fits well and that eyeholes are large enough so your child can see clearly.
Make them shine. Have everyone in your party carry a flashlight to increase visibility to drivers and to make seeing potholes and other obstacles easier. Incorporate reflective tape into costume designs by adding it to the front, back, hems, and sleeves. Glow necklaces and glow sticks are another fun way to aide in visibility.
Buddy up. Goblins, ghouls, and other friends should never trick-or-treat alone. Young kids need to be chaperoned by an adult at all times. Even older candy seeker should have at least one buddy, but larger groups are even better — and more fun.
Check treats for tricks. Check candy before kids eat it. Inspect for tampering, such as discoloration, torn wrappers, tiny holes, or anything unusual. Throw out suspicious items.
Use street smarts. Remind kids to never enter the home or vehicle of someone they don’t know, even if candy is being offered. Limit visits to well-lit houses. When going door-to-door, use sidewalks rather than the road whenever possible. If you must walk on the road, stay on the far edge facing traffic so drivers will see you more easily. Always look both ways when crossing the street, and use crosswalks when available.
Freelance writer Kristi Cook lives in Arkansas with her two energetic pumpkins.