TIPS FOR A SAFE & FUN HALLOWEEN
Pre-Feed Your Child
Make dinnertime a special time on Halloween night. Serve your child's favorite food, and lots of it. This way there is less room in little tummies for lots of junk food that children are likely to get during their neighborhood trick or treat rounds.
Pick Ten Pieces
Children's eyes are bigger than their stomachs (remember, a child's tummy is the size of his fist), so they are likely to gobble up piles of candy in mindless munching only to be left with a severe case of "yuck tummy" and restless nights. As your children empty out their bags of "loot" on the table, let them choose ten pieces of treats, and that's what they can begin eating tonight. Bag the rest and dole out a few pieces each day for several days as a substitute for dessert. Chances are your children will get bored with the candy overdose after a few days anyway.
Throw A Party
Many kids ago we learned the best way to keep our children safe and monitor what goes into their little minds and bodies on Halloween night is to throw a Halloween party at our home and invite the neighbors. We would turn our garage into a party room and let the children decorate it. They could choose their treats - within reason - and the games they wanted to play at the party.
Offer Healthier Treats
Children who overdose on junk food often get a case of what they call "yuck tummy" the next day. Not only are their tummies sore, but their behavior is squirrelly from the roller coaster effect of sugar overdose. This is why teachers are not fond of when Halloween falls on a school night. Instead of the usual junk food, offer homemade cookies, raisins, granola bars, and fruit. To catch the holiday spirit, decorate the fruit and cookies in interesting designs and shapes. Or, try non-food treats, such as: crayons, whistles, and tiny hand toys.
Be A Food Inspector
Always inspect the treats before your child eats them. Be especially careful about “chockable” foods, such as hard candies, in children under four. Be prepared for your child to say, "Aw, mom!" as you require her to display the treats for inspection. Don't worry, children expect parents to do this because they sense you care.
Keep It Simple, Make It Fun!
Let this be your Halloween motto. Just because Halloween night is safe and nutritious, doesn't mean it can't be fun. The costumes, the party, and your own antics help make it fun. In fact, kids like to see parents lighten up and be like kids again. As long as you weave in the safety issues with fun, children both accept it and expect it. Consider these safety issues:
- Children must travel with buddies, older friends, or parents
- Teach burn protection: tell children not to touch flaming jack-o-lanterns. If possible, use flame-retardant costumes and review the stop-drop-roll burn prevention with your child in case the costume catches fire.
- Walk on sidewalks instead of the street.
- Bring a flashlight.
- Give your child a cell phone, if possible.
- Stand outside the home that your child visits. If your children are invited inside the house, go with them.
- Use reflective tape on costumes if they're walking along dark streets.
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Costumes should not be so long that children can trip on them.
- Make sure masks are easy to see and breathe through.
- Use non-toxic face paints.
Prepare Your Property
- Remove trippable items from your lawn. `
- Cover sprinklers.
- Keep jack-o-lanterns where they cannot catch things on fire.
- Keep animals secured.