Take care on Halloween

Published 5:49 pm Wednesday, October 15, 2008

“Trick or treat!”

Halloween is probably one of the best times for children, other than Christmas. But bad folks have taken some of the joy out of hauling in sacks full of goodies. Young parents already have talked about what to do, even here in Selma.

Here are some safety tips for children and their parents:

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Each child should carry or wear something that lights up. For example, the child could carry a flashlight, glow bracelet or necklace or some kind of flashing clothes. Shoes that light up make sense, too.

Grown-ups should plan out a route in advance and check it during the daytime. A broken sidewalk could mean skinned knees if a child can’t see well out of a mask and misses the drop-down or step-up. Familiar neighborhoods are the best places to take children.

While they’re cute, costumes that drag the ground can trip little feet or get caught on limbs of bushes and cause a child to fall. Adding to that, if you have a toddler, pick costumes that are bathroom friendly. Parents who have toddlers might want to pre-plan a bathroom stop along the way.

Ensure the child can see and breathe out of a mask. Some superhero masks only have small eye slits and nothing for the nose or mouth. Parents should have their children try on the masks for size. An alternative is to cut out larger openings for a child’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Adults should make sure the children they accompany walk and do not run. They shouldn’t cut across lawns or driveways, because the children might bump into or trip over something.

Only trick or treat at houses that have lights. People who do not want trick or treaters turn off their lights many times. Respect that.

Adults should accompany children of any age while trick or treating. Even tweens, who don’t want to be with their parents, should have firm rules and be required to carry a cell phone for emergencies.

A child should eat a healthy meal before going to trick or treat. This will reduce the temptation of children who want to eat candy until they get sick.

Never allow a child to eat candy before a grownup looks at it. Throw away any unopened candy. Throw away homemade treats or any other items that might be suspect. Some parents put away some candy and save it for later or set rules, allowing children to eat some at specific times.

There’s no need to take the fun out of Halloween. Children have always enjoyed it. Just follow the rules and take care.