Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls will be taking to the street in celebration of Halloween this week. Amidst the Halloween festivities, parents need to take steps to ensure the safety of their children and teens. Homeowners expecting to dole out treats, not tricks, also need to take steps to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters.
"Making sure your child follows a few basic safety rules and that your house is a safe haven for trick-or treaters, will ensure that your Halloween is a safe and happy one," said Wendell Teltow, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Texas.
Tips for parents:
When selecting a costume for your child, make sure the material is flame-retardant. Also, select non-toxic makeup instead of a mask that could restrict your child's vision. Make sure your child carries a flashlight, a glow stick, or has reflective tape on his or her costume to make them more visible to cars. Always accompany your children as they trick-or-treat.
Teaching children basis safety rules such as not getting in cars with strangers, looking both ways before crossing the street, never entering a house, and only approaching well-lit homes eliminate many of the dangers of trick-or-treating. Remind your children not to eat any of the candy until you have had the chance to inspect it for tampering.
Talk to the trick-or-treaters in your family about the difference between good Halloween fun and misbehavior. Halloween has become one of the peak times of year for acts of vandalism such as egging houses and cars or toilet-papering homes. Also, remember to protect your pets on Halloween. Incidences of animal cruelty increase in frequency around Halloween. Make sure your children know that both vandalism and animal cruelty are punishable by law and will not be tolerated.
Answering the door to choruses of Trick or Treat is many a homeowners' delight on Halloween. Take a few moments to consider your home and how to make it safer for trick-or-treaters.
Make sure your yard is clear of thins such as rakes, hoses, flowerpots and other items that could trip children. Keep the walkways clear of leaves and other debris.
Restrain pets or put them up to protect the pet and the trick-or-treaters. Even mild mannered pets can become agitated by loud noises and flapping costumes.
Consider using battery-operated candles or a flashlight in your pumpkin if you want to place it close to your door.
Make sure your home and yard is well lit to help children make it safely to and from your door.
Do not give out homemade treats unless you personally know the children and their families and they know you well.
Think carefully of the children in your neighborhood when buying Halloween candy. Try to avoid treats such as gum and hard candy that may pose choking hazards to young children.
Prevent Child Abuse Texas is a statewide, citizen-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in all its forms. Its network of affiliated agencies, members, volunteers work in a collaborative manner with community, state, and national groups. Prevent Child Abuse Texas turns information to action by developing sound child and family oriented community-based prevention programs, public awareness activities, educational initiatives and training programs. Founded in 1984, Prevent Child Abuse Texas is a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. For additional information, please call 1-800-CHILDREN.