Safety First on Halloween

Hello Readers!  While today isn’t truly Halloween, this is typically the day that most parents choose to take their kids out for the holiday festivities since Halloween this year falls on a school day.  So, I decided to devote this post to some safety rules to follow in order to have a safe and happy Halloween.

My very first rule for all parents is never send your children out alone.  Always have a chaperone or two if going in a group, and the chaperones should be parents.  There are some very strange people out at Halloween, and very poor behavior is displayed at this time of the year.  This year is no exception with Insane Killer Clowns and the election upon us.  It’s a very scary time to be a parent, and tensions are running at an all time high.  So, practice safety first and take your kids out trick or treating.

Secondly, only travel to neighborhoods you know.  This isn’t the time to branch out into a new area.  Take your kids throughout your own neighborhood or throughout a nearby one that you are familiar with.  As I said before, tensions are running high in our country, and people aren’t always trustworthy everywhere.  This is not the time to go into unfamiliar territory and knock on a stranger’s door.  There’s no telling what you might encounter on the other side.  So, be safe and smart: take your kids through a relatively known neighborhood.  It doesn’t have to be your own, but you should stick to a neighborhood where a few family friends may be or where colleagues may live.  This area is probably known well enough to feel at least aware of your surroundings and the streets.

Third, always dress for the weather and the time of day.  I personally grew up in an area where snowfall on Halloween was the norm, so my mom used to make our costumes big enough to slip over our snow suits and gear.  Make sure you dress for the weather in your area rather than dressing in an inappropriate costume.  I absolutely love Frozen themed costumes for Halloween because most of them will fit this time of year.  Even Elsa’s blue dress can be made for snow!  Aside from dressing for the weather, be sure to clip some lights and reflectors to the kiddos.  When it’s dark outside, especially on a holiday like Halloween when people have been drinking, there are far more chances of accidents.  Make sure your kids have a flashlight or headlamp on, and always practice safe walking rules like using a crosswalk, looking both ways, and follow traffic laws.

Lastly, set up a candy checking system before you head out and make sure your kids are aware of it.  The police in most cities have started offering this service to parents as a way to keep our kids safe, and I highly recommend using this service.  If this service is not available in your area, then you will have to do it yourself.  This is becoming more and more necessary, especially with the changes in our society.  Marijuana is a hot topic in my state right now, given that legalization is on the ballot.  And marijuana, as well as other drugs, can be cooked into treats and candies easily.  There are even companies that specialize in this.  I honestly don’t trust society enough to not encounter these products during this holiday.  And I won’t be surprised if a story of pot candies being handed out to children is among our top stories on Tuesday.  So, make sure you thoroughly check your kids’ haul for tampering or for items that look unsuitable for kids, and be sure to turn over such products to the police rather than throwing them away.  If thrown away, there’s a chance that someone could stumble upon them and be harmed by them.

One bonus topic I want to bring up is the use of teal pumpkins and their meaning.  Nowadays, it’s becoming commonplace for kids to suffer from allergies of all kinds, especially nuts and other food related ones.  A lot of these kids find Halloween to be less inviting for them since many of our candies contain these allergens, or there are kids with diabetes that can’t partake in the festivities the same way as other kids.  So, society has begun to alter this holiday in order to include kids with food allergies that can’t normally enjoy the festivities.  It’s in the form of the teal-painted pumpkin.  A teal-painted pumpkin at a house indicates a non-food treat for kids who need it.  This is normally little toys and trinkets that can be found at the dollar store or through bulk-order catalog companies.  But, this is a great way to involve all kids in the fun, and I highly recommend participating in this.

Too often, Halloween is a sugar-filled holiday that spans the entire month of October.  Think about it: everyone is anticipating the holiday season, and Halloween kicks it all off with candy and treats.  So, most people indulge in Halloween treats, parties, and other festivities that include a lot of calories and sugar.  And kids are no exception to this.  To top it off, we send our kids out to get sugar via door to door means, and they come back with a bag full of the stuff.  And try as we might, parents can’t always prevent our kids from raiding that stash from time to time.  So, rather than adding to the sugar high, why not offer dollar store trinkets instead?  Yes, it might cost a little more to provide these treats instead, but parents everywhere will thank you for it, especially those whose kids suffer from food allergies or other health issues that prevent them from enjoying this holiday.  After getting your haul for your home, simply paint a pumpkin teal and place it in a visible spot for people to see.  As a handy bonus, you can pick up a plastic one from the dollar store or a crafts store to store after the holiday until next year.

So, hopefully these rules and tips will help you and your kids have a safe and happy Halloween.

Until next time,

-BBM

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