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#tipTuesday - Halloween safety

The above image makes me laugh only because of a recent conversation with my mom. When she said she wanted to start an annual pumpkin carving tradition with her grandkids, my response was, "Oh, yes, let's give a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old, an 11-year-old, and a 14-year-old knives and have them carve pumpkins." (insert rolling eyes that I'm sure every mother appreciates, as it doesn't change even with a grown child) But we did it anyway. I'm happy to report that everyone left the event unharmed, and the 2-year-old used paint.

There are lots of things to think about in the whole prep of Halloween -- decorations, pumpkins, baking, costumes, candy, and more! Today's #tipTuesday focuses on some trick-or-treating safety.

1. Make sure the child can see and be seen. Consider using face paint instead of a mask. Make sure nothing blocks your child's vision. Likewise, make sure others can see your child. Finish off their costume with a glow stick or glow necklace or add some reflective tape to their costume.

2. Teach Buddy and Lights. This means a child should always have a buddy, never be alone. Also, a child should only approach houses that are well lit. (We always look for the porch light to be on.) Do not go to houses that are dark. Teach your child to skip over these houses.

3. Crosswalks. Use crosswalks whenever possible and teach a child not to dart out in the street. Drivers be aware that children are very excited. Use extra caution. It's best if drivers can avoid driving in a residential areas altogether on the evening of Halloween.

4. Strangers. Never enter the car of a stranger and never enter the home of a stranger. It seems more and more haunted houses are going up in neighborhoods. If this means going inside the house of a stranger, do not promote it with your child. Safety rules always apply, even on Halloween.

5. Rules. It is good to establish rules before going out to trick-or-treat. How many times will you allow your child to knock or ring before someone comes to the door? (Our rule is twice. If no one answers, even if the house is well lit, we move on.) What do you want your child to say when someone opens the door? When a bowl of candy has been left out for the "honor system," how many pieces are they allowed to take? (Our rule is to follow the sign on the bowl. If no sign, they may take one piece.) What do you want your child to say after they receive a treat? If your children are old enough to out without you, what are the boundaries as to how far they can go? What time do you expect them home? You have to think through the evening as a family and decide what is best for you and your family.

Halloween was just a day for me growing up. I got excited when it was time to trick-or-treat, but I don't recall anything being over the top. My boys find Halloween to be exhilarating! It is their second, favorite holiday (after Christmas). Just the goal of who can get the most candy is enough to send them into overdrive with excitement. Sadly, if it doesn't fit in a gallon-sized, Ziplock baggie at the end of the night, I make them donate it. I mean, REALLY, who needs ALL THIS CANDY??

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