Friday, October 26, 2012

Trick or Treat Safety

Every year children get very excited to go trick-or-treating to collect candy and goodies from others. There are a few things we can do as parents to make sure it stays a fun activity, and safe as well!

1. Go along with younger children.
This goes without saying, but younger children should be accompanied by adults or older and responsible siblings. With children going to many strangers homes, and all in costume, it would be a scary situation to not know where your child was. Younger children might become disoriented and confused while trick-or-treating and not know what street they are on, this is especially true if your city has trick-or-treat at night.

2. Check your child's candy before they eat it.

It has happened in the past that children get candy that has been laced with poison or razor blades. This occurrence is very small and is not really much of a concern, but why take the chance? It only takes one strange person to make this possibility real. Most hospitals will offer free x-rays of your child's candy (check for availability and dates/times).  My husband worked as an x-ray technician in the past and personally never found anything of concern while scanning the loot. You can still give a quick check for each piece of candy if you choose to by-pass the hospital check. Even if you aren't checking for drugs, poison, or razor blades, it is still a good idea to make sure the candy wrappers are still intact to insure the candy hasn't been contaminated naturally or become stale.

3. Sidewalks, Flashlights and Reflectors.

Most people are smart enough to not be driving around during trick-or-treat unless they can help it. Still, there are lots of children on the streets and distractions everywhere for drivers. Use sidewalks as much as possible, and try to avoid crossing the street more than necessary. If you are out at night, try to have a flashlight or reflectors on your costume.

4. Homemade Treats or Drinks

This goes along with number 2, but it should receive special attention. If you are given a treat that was homemade, you should make sure you know the person that gave it to you. If you are unfamiliar with the treat giver, it is safest not to consume their gift. Most people will realize this and have an alternatively "sealed" treat for those trick-or-treaters they don't know.

5. Costume Safety

So many times, I see young trick-or-treaters walking down the street and they are tripping over their costume, can't see through their mask and run into something, or have shoes that are too big or are rubbing blisters. All of these things make your trick-or-treat experience less than it should be and can easily be fixed or prevented by assessing your costume ahead of time! I guess you should also make sure the costume is flame resistant. If you are at a bonfire this is a no-brainer, but for regular trick-or-treating I'm going to guess this isn't a specifically pressing issue to look into.

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