by Dick Nieuwendyk
Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner and soon our streets will be scattered with little ghosts, goblins, and witches trick-or-treating.
Halloween is an exciting time for children and their families, and with some easy-to-remember tips you can ensure that the holiday will be fun and safe for your children.
Buy bright costumes as opposed to black or brown, and help drivers see kids better by using reflective tape that can be stuck onto the back and arms of the costumes. Have your child’s name, address and phone number on the INSIDE of their costume in the event of an injury. Check the costume labels to ensure that they are flame resistant.
Instead of masks that can block a child’s view and prevent them from seeing obstacles in front of them, consider using a non-toxic make-up, or face-painting, as a safer alternative.
Supply your children with flashlights or glow-sticks so they can see, or be seen by others.
Stay in neighborhoods you are familiar with, and only visit homes that are well lit and provide a safe walkway.
Caution your children to avoid strangers, stick to an agreed route, and never enter a home or car for a treat.
Kids under the age of 10 should always be accompanied by an adult. Not only does it keep THEM safe, it allows YOU to meet new neighbours within your area.
Plan a route prior to leaving your home and make a plan in case someone gets separated from the group.
No treats should be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.
A good meal prior to trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats,
For drivers on Halloween, be very careful between 4 and 8 pm, drive slow, and do not pass stopped vehicles; the driver might be dropping off children.
Watch for children darting across the street or running out between parked cars. Yield to young trick-or-treaters,who might not see your vehicle approaching or don’t know how to safely cross the street.
Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should do a check of the goodie bags to make sure candy has been properly factory sealed and has not been tampered with. It may seem like a chore to go through each and every
piece of candy or bag of peanuts, but it could save a life.
Use the same diligence in checking to make sure apples and other such goodies have not been interfered with.
Throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
Not everyone in the world is nice or mentally balanced; some adults want to hurt children. Don’t let them hurt yours.
And, last but not least, before going trick-or-treating, go over the rules with your children, and go over them several times. What should your child do if he/she gets lost or in danger? It only takes a few moments to discuss potential hazards that can easily be avoided. Tell them to run away and scream if someone follows them or tries to force them into a car. If lost, tell them to ask a woman with a child for help. Tell them to dial 911 at home or on their cell phone.
Law Enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
BE SAFE AND HAVE A ”SPOOKTACULAR” HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!