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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween: Safe & Fun Trick-or-Treating


Halloween is just around the corner, and your kids are probably gearing up for the big day by planning their costumes and trying to figure out the houses with the best candy. You may be giving this year's holiday a lot of thought too. But for slightly different reasons. How can you let your kids make the most of Halloween while still keeping them safe? No worries. We're here to help!


Although you probably remember every news headline about poisoned Halloween candy or other horrifying tales, these incidents are literally a one in a million deal. Keep in mind that millions of children go trick-or-treating every year, and virtually none of them come in contact with anything dangerous. The reason these headlines are so noteworthy, is because they are so extremely rare.


Even so, it's best to ere on the side of caution when it comes to kids. Keep them safe without spoiling all the fun by following a few simple guidelines.


Check all candy that comes from a stranger before letting your child dig in. Make sure all wrappers are still securely in place, and be sure there are no holes or blemishes on the packaging. Most of the time these things are nothing at all, but they could indicate candy that has been tampered with. To be extra sure, trash any "suspicious" pieces. Your kids won't miss them.


While you're out and about milking the neighbors for all the bubble gum they're worth, be sure to keep a close eye on every child in attendance. If more than three kids will be joining the fun, bring an extra adult (or two) and instruct kids ahead of time to walk on the sidewalk only. If small toddlers will be present, keep them in a stroller or attach a "toddler leash" to their costumes. Little ones are fast and tend to disappear easily in a crowd.


Choose easy to recognize costumes. Although choosing the latest TV character may be
"in", there are plenty of stylish and fun kids costumes to choose from that will be easier to pick out in a crowd. The Doctors Costume for Kids by Aeromax, for example, comes in several easy to see bright colors and is available in multiple sizes. Similar ideas are the Cowboy & Cowgirl Costume for Kids. These are stylish and fun enough to keep the kids happy, but will help you avoid confusing your child with one of the other blond pop stars on the street that night. You can even make it an educational day by discussing what the character does or might have done when they dressed up just like your little trick or treater.


Stick to neighborhoods you are familiar with. If there is a particular area that is notorious for having "good candy" and you haven’t been there, take a quick drive by during the day to map things out. Choose which streets you will visit, keep a stretch of the neighborhood handy so you can easily find your car, and if you want to be super cautious check the crime in the area by searching online. Even better, take along a friend who knows the area and follow her lead.


A few minutes of preparation will make each and every Halloween fun for your kids and give you some peace of mind.

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