It is that time of year again, with trees turning from their dresses of green to brilliant reds and every shade of yellow and rusty brown. Fall apples and pumpkins are showing up at the farmers markets and neighborhood kids of all ages are planning for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating.
Pumpkins are carved and placed outside with glowing candles inside to welcome trick-or-treaters, and candy of all kinds sits in a bowl by the door to give to the costumed neighbors who we pretend not to recognize. Halloween is an exciting time of year and if you follow a few tips it can be a safe holiday for all.
1. Wear make-up instead of masks. Masks can limit or block eyesight so non-toxic make-up and hats are the best choice. Make sure any hats fit properly so they dont cover eyes.
2. Wear bright reflective costumes and add reflective tape to them and to trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility. Everyone should carry a flashlight as well.
3. Costumes should be an appropriate length to avoid getting tangled and accessories should be checked to be sure they are not sharp or too long.
4. Inside the house, place lighted pumpkins on a sturdy table away from curtains or other flammable materials and use votive candles to illuminate. Small children should not carve pumpkins. They can use markers to draw a design and then an adult can do the carving.
5. Trip-proof the outside of your home by having plenty of lights on, and move garden hoses, toys or lawn decorations out of the way. Sweep leaves aside and do a check to see if the area is safe for walking.
6. On the trick-or-treat trail a parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children. Go only to homes with lights on. Never enter a home or a car to get treats. Stay in a group and carry a cell phone for quick communication. Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
7. Consider a Halloween party instead of trick-or-treating.
8. Feed the kids before going trick-or-treating or to a party to discourage children from eating too much candy. Go through the bags of goodies to sort and check treats. Throw out any unwrapped or suspicious looking items. Ration out the candy in the days after Halloween.
9. Consider purchasing non-food treats to reduce the amount of candy given out.
10. Have fun and take plenty of photos to share with friends and relatives.