Halloween is an exciting night for children and a busy time for their parents. With such excitement, it's easy for children to forget basic safety rules.
When emotions are running high, it's a good time to remember to 'use your head.' Plan ahead and plan to have a safe Halloween. Raise safety awareness with your family before the festivities begin. We do the right thing, but we don't always explain it to children. As you place a saucer under each tea light, or 'stop, look and listen' at street corners and in parking lots, tell your child why. They don't always connect the dots unless you point it out.
Here are some Halloween Safety Tips to keep in mind:
1. Stay sober and alert.
It's amazing how many family Halloween celebrations involve adults drinking. It's impossible to monitor children's safety or your own when you've had too much to drink, so don't.
2. Avoid cuts and burns when decorating.
Carving the pumpkin, placing luminaria in the driveway, and hanging spooky skeletons all present opportunities for injury. If you're decorating with candles, observe fires safety. Have a good fire extinguisher handy and make sure everyone knows where it is.
3. Observe ladder safety regulations.
According to the NASD, accidents involving ladders cause an estimated 300 death a year in the US, and 130,000 injuries requiring medical attention. Go here to read about how to use a ladder properly: http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d000801-d000900/d000877/d000877.html .
4. Make sure 'treats' aren't 'tricks.'
Many people these days choose to go to fairs or private parties instead of trick or treating for safety reasons. If your child is going trick or treating, go with them. Make it a rule that nothing is to be eaten until it's first been inspected by you.
5. Caution your child about strangers and dogs.
Keep your children with you and remind them to avoid people and dogs they don't know. Many people are taking their dog companions out in costume these days, and even the most gentle of family pets can do something unexpected with all the excitement.
6. Accidental falls is the number one cause of injuries on Halloween night (National Safety Council).
Choose your child's costume with this in mind. Hem up the hemlines. If you choose a mask, choose one that doesn't obstruct sight. Stay sober and observe safety rules when decorating.
7. Four times more children are killed in pedestrian/automobile accidents on Halloween night than on any other night of the year.
The CDC suggests these factors make it a high risk: short stature, inability to react quickly enough to avoid a car or evaluate a potential traffic threat, lack of impulse control, and all the exciting distractions.
8. The holiday syndrome.
The excitement, more candy, more parties, less sleep, less nutritious food, and getting off schedule all mean less attentiveness and also possibly illness. Keep routines as normal as you can.
9. Choose safe and sensible costumes.
Choose fire retardant costumes that allow children free movement and good visibility. Be careful about accessories. Even toy knives and swords can cause harm. Give each child a flashlight.
10. Set a good example.
Show that you care about safety and make it a top priority.
About the Author: Susan Dunn is the "EQ Coach". Visit www.SusanDunn.cc to learn more.
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