Ok, I know that officially it won't be here until tomorrow but, in most places in the United States, Halloween is being observed tonight!
I decided today that I would post some safety reminders for you. Let's keep EVERYONE safe tonight!
1. Never let your child trick-or-treat alone. Have them stay with you or another adult, or if they are older, with a group of kids. Unfortunately there are bad people in this world that would like to take advantage of a child alone. Your child's defenses are already down. They are excited, going to strangers homes to get candy & possibly not in their own neighborhood.
2. Only let them go to homes with a light on. It's actually a law here that if you are going to hand out candy, you must have your porch light on. Homes without an outside light on are off limits to trick-or-treaters.
3. Never allow a child to go inside of a home that they don't know. Again, there are bad people in this world and while they may seem nice, they might not be nice.
4. Have your child carry a flashlight (they make some cute, um, I mean spooky ones that are inexpensive) and have them check the ground before crossing a yard. Holes, plants and decorations can cause serious injuries if your child falls over/in them.
5. Have your child check the road extra carefully before crossing it. There are a lot more cars out on Halloween. If you are driving one of those cars, please be extra observant! Kid's are excited and often run out in the road without looking, sometimes they are wearing dark costumes which makes them hard to see and more than once I've seen a candy bucket dropped in the road & the child just could not leave their candy so they were crouched down picking it up. These are all things that could be deadly to a child. Watch out for them!!
6. Make sure your child's costume fits them properly. If it is too large they could trip over it. Masks can be dangerous too because they restrict your child's vision. If a mask is part of their costume, make sure it has large enough eye holes so that your child can still see normally. Face paint is a much better alternative if you can do that. And have your child wear their own shoes. Improperly fitting shoes that come with some costumes can cause your child to fall and be injured.
7. Do not allow your child to eat any candy they collect until you are home and have checked it for opened packages. Kids want to eat it right away so I have a couple suggestions for that: 1. Keep a big "dump" bag that your child empties their candy bucket into every few houses. This keeps them from digging through it and seeing what they got. They can do that when they get home after you've checked the candy and 2. Carry a bag of "safe candy" or some other treat your child likes so that they can have something to snack on while trick-or-treating.
8. Do not allow your children to eat any homemade treats that may be given to them unless they come from someone you know and trust. There may be nothing wrong with the treat but it's better to be safe than sorry. If you don't know the person that made the treat, discard it.
9. Be wary of lit jack-o-lanterns. Curious little fingers can get burned, lit pumpkins can get knocked over causing fire and/or injury and unattended lit pumpkins can burn out of control. Make sure your lit pumpkins are in a secure area where they can stay without falling over. I've already moved mine off my hay bales and onto the ground within sight of my front porch. You could also use lights in your pumpkins instead of candles to prevent injuries and fire.
10. Remember our pets on Halloween too. I wrote a post the other day on dog safety on Halloween. Click here to read it if you haven't already. It's very important to keep our furbabies safe tonight too!
While I talked about dogs in that article, I'd like to remind you about cat safety too. My kitty is getting very old and doesn't take well to children anymore. He's also a black cat which, sadly, is dangerous on Halloween. Cruel people hurt and even kill cats on Halloween. All cats are in danger but black cats and orange cats are the most sought after. As a matter of fact, many years ago in Houston, the SPCA began putting holds on the adoption of black cats & orange cats for a period of time before and after Halloween. Keep your cat indoors, preferably in a separate room that allows you to close a door between your cat & the outside world.
Alright guys, keep safe tonight. Ghouls, goblins, witches & Spongebob Squarepants will all be welcome at my house later...outside, with the porch light on and the pumpkins on the ground. You'll see me. I'll be the one with a HUUUUGE bowl of store bought candy!