Halloween Safety – October 2009

Halloween is approaching and there are some simple safety steps you can take to ensure that your children have a safe and fun Halloween.

According to Samantha Stern, training and development director at Ebenezer Child Care Centers, “It’s important for parents to be aware of the possible dangers of selecting a costume, carving pumpkins and trick or treating so accidents can be avoided and everyone can enjoy this fun holiday.”

Selecting a Costume

All children get excited about picking out the perfect costume for Halloween. However, Stern recommends that you exercise parental discretion when selecting costumes.

“Make sure you pick a flame retardant costume and one which allows your child to see clearly and walk freely without obstacles, says Stern. “If your child will be trick or treating at night, consider purchasing a costume which is a brighter color and be thoughtful of the weather. While princess and fairy costumes are always a preference for little girls, they aren’t real practical for Wisconsin’s weather.”

Carving Pumpkins

Stern advises that you should never allow children to carve jack-o-lanterns without supervision and assistance. She also suggests that instead of using a knife, that you purchase a pumpkin carving tool, available at most convenience stores, which is less dangerous.

When you have the pulp and seeds of the pumpkin removed, throw them away immediately to avoid a choking hazard. Finally, never allow your child to light their jack-o-lantern and always make sure that the pumpkin is set in a place that is not near flammables or little hands.

Trick or Treating

Stern says that you should never allow children to trick-or-treat alone. You also want to make sure that your child only walks on sidewalks and in driveways, and that they only visit homes where the lights are on. It’s also a good idea to carry a flashlight.

“Always go with your child and make sure that you inspect all candy for tampering and for any items that are unwrapped, prior to allowing your child to eat it,” says Stern. “If your child is under the age of 5, also take a moment to remove all candy which could pose a choking hazard.”

Ebenezer Child Care Centers, Inc. will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night on “Halloween Safety Tips” on Tuesday, October 6, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at their Downtown Center located at 340 W. St. Paul Avenue, across from the main post office. Come learn more about Halloween safety and enjoy dinner on us. This event, which is sponsored by Children’s Hospital’s Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund, is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.  Please call 414-643-5070 to register.