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Trick Or Treat: Keeping Kids Safe This Halloween

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Goblins ,and Ghosts, and witches....oh my. It's that time of year when little boys and ghouls set out in search of some seasonal treats. And, let's face it lots of mummies and daddies look forward to calling dibs on the bounty collected. But, while many of the creative costumes offer us (spectators) some delicious eye candy, we all have to be cautious when it comes to the candy that's handed out to our little pirates and princesses.

Remember trick or treating is a fun and exciting adventure for most kids and it's our job (as adults) to make it a safe experience as well. Here's a few tips to make it more fun and less "frightening".

* Make sure to get involved by dressing up (at least partially) with your little ones.

* Take kids trick or treating only to homes of friends and neighbors you know (and trust)

* Consider trick or treating at a mall or local businesses

* Look for parties held at churches, temples or community centers you can take your child to....or host a party at home.

*Make sure children go out trick or treating in groups and preferably accompanied by an adult or a few adults to keep things under control.

* Note that some town have a curfew for trick or treating making it easier for residents to know what to expect during those hours....and giving them time to prepare for trick or treaters. Find out about curfews in your area and make sure to take advantage of trick or treating at those times.

*If you have "older" kids who are venturing out alone...make sure you know where they are going, including what homes they are going to and who they are going with. Plan out a safe route of travel and set a time for them to be back by. Also don't let them go out without a cell so you can keep in touch.

* Inform (older) kids of the dangers of taking short cuts such as cutting through alleys and fields especially if they are alone. Stress the importance of taking well lit, highly traveled routes with plenty of other people around....and make sure they REALLY understand how to stay safe and out of potentially dangerous situations.

*Instruct older kids never to go trick or treating at a home they don't know and never to accept candy or a lift from a stranger. Explain to them how to handle an unfamiliar adult who may approach them if you are not around.

*Give children guidelines about not accepting unwrapped treats and about not eating any candy until they get home, where treats can be inspected by you or some other trusted adult.

* Send kids out with a flashlight, glow stick or put some reflective tape on their costume making it easier for them to see in the dark and making them more visible to cars.

*Stress the importance of safety in number s and why it's important that they stay together in a group if they go out trick or treating without an adult.

Long Island Safety Articles > Trick Or Treat: Keeping Kids Safe This Halloween

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