Halloween is Here!

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Joan Lunden

Parenting /

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My shopping list this week included “plastic eyeballs” that can float in my kids milk (totally can’t wait to see their reaction), pumpkins, black cats, scary masks, and more pumpkins. Since temperatures here in the East are supposed to be taking a dive this weekend, I ran to get extra pairs of nude tights and leotards so my little princesses can dress like little princesses and not be shivering.

So now we are on the countdown till the big night! And once costumes are picked out, the search is on for the largest trick-or-treat bag they can possibly find to collect their loot! However while Halloween is an exciting time for children, it is also an important time for us parents to review our notes on Halloween safety. As a broadcaster, I’ve been reporting on this story every year for as long as I can remember, but if it keeps just one child safe, I think it’s worth keeping up with that tradition and passing along a few tips we should all be following on the ghoulish night.

Tips to Ensure a Safe Halloween

  • Make sure your children wear costumes that are bright and reflective. Check to see that shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.
  • If your kids will be trick-or-treating during the nighttime or as it is becoming dark out, add reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Masks are fun, but they can limit or block eyesight. Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives – just make sure hats fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • For those ninjas and gallant knights, if a stick or sword is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Make sure each child and their chaperones have flashlights with fresh batteries.
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood trick-or-treating rounds.

The Trick-or-Treat Trail for Older Children

  • If your older kids are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you.
  • Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Remind older children to stay in a group while trick-or-treating.
  • Give them a cell phone to carry for quick communication.
  • Remind them to stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, tell them to walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are so common on Halloween, remind your older kids that drivers will have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks and don’t assume the right of way. Just because one car stops doesn’t mean others will.

A Healthy Halloween

  • Worried about all the sugar and sweets? A good meal just before Halloween parties and trick-or-treating may help prevent youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Try to wait until children are home to sort through and check the candy. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Rather than gobbling them up in one or two sittings, ration treats for the days following Halloween.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Categories: Parenting
About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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