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Keeping Kids Safe this Halloween

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by Tony Dyer (subscribe)
I've made it to my life's goal - the old age pension. Now I write for fun. Hope you enjoy reading.
What have the Romans ever done for us?
halloween, safety, safety tips, safety plan
Max Always Gives Halloween a Black Look

What have the Romans ever done for us? Well, if the internet is to be believed they gave us Halloween!

Apparently, the Romans celebrated Pomona, the goddess of fruits, gardens and orchards as winter approached. Then, when the Romans took over the known world, the Celts converted their festival of Samhain to align with Rome's Pomona. Finally, not to be outdone, the Christians decided to hold 'All Hallows Eve' at the same time. And, if you say, 'All Hallows Eve' fast enough, it becomes 'Halloween'. So there you have it; it's Roman, not, like we all think, American.

While the idea didn't originate in America the way we celebrate it did. The Americans have adapted the old traditions to end up with the modern dress-ups, parties and trick-or-treating.

As with most things, having fun at Halloween is great but can be hazardous and there's no fun in getting hurt. Here are some safety hints for all the kids, parents, home owners and drivers who'll be out and about on Halloween.

Safety Hints for Kids
Kids moving about the streets need to carry a light to be seen and to see where they are going. Torches are best and glow-sticks, glow-in-the-dark necklaces or reflective tape all help visibility.

Map out a route for the kids so they work their way up one side of the street and down the other rather than criss-crossing back and forth. Where there are no footpaths make sure they walk towards on-coming traffic.

Belinda Hankins Miller - originally posted to Flickr as first house - via Wikimedia Commons

Minimise distractions so the kids are more likely to concentrate on the road and cars around them. Mobile phones should only to be used in an emergency, such as, getting lost or needing a lift.

Remind the kids, Stranger Danger is still relevant on Halloween. They must not go into an unlit yard and never, ever enter a home or car to collect treats.

Safety Hints for Parents
Select Halloween costumes that fit properly and are flame resistant. Over-sized shoes, high heels, long dresses or capes hanging below the ankles are tripping hazards. Long, flowing costumes can be dragged over candle-lit jack-o-lanterns and catch fire. Reflective tape helps makes costumes more visible.

Try this to save some money; apparently, if you wear ordinary clothes inside out and walk backwards on Halloween a witch will appear at midnight. It's worth a try if you can get the kids to believe it!

Children should not carve pumpkins. Younger children can draw faces with markers and adults do the cutting if a finger's got to go isn't it better if it's yours?

When using a lit candle in the pumpkin, place the lantern where it is unlikely to be knocked over and away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave a burning candle unattended. It's safer to use torch or glow stick to light the pumpkin.

halloween, trick or treat, jack-o-lantern, safety tips, safety planning
A Happy Jack-O-Lantern - Image by Photos Public Domain

Obviously you need to keep track of the kids and have their mobiles all charged up and the speed-dials checked. Younger children need a responsible adult with them.

Check all the torches have fresh batteries.

Stress the importance of having all the treats examined before being eaten. Then make sure all packaging is properly sealed with no signs of tampering. Any unsealed food or lollies should be binned.

To help supress the urge to start eating treats earlier, give the kids a good feed before they go out.

Don't give lollies to the family pets. Sweets, especially chocolate, are extremely dangerous to dogs and cats.

Safety Hints for Homeowners
Keep all access clear for visiting trick-or-treaters by removing trip hazards such as hoses, bikes and yard ornaments. Check all outdoor lights are on and working properly.

Have the treats by the door so the kids can collect their lollies and move on. Don't let anybody inside your home and keep any pets out of the way.

Safety Hints for Drivers
When driving in a residential neighbourhood slow down and be especially alert for children. They can act unpredictably so be especially careful around intersections and when entering and exiting driveways.

A Hint for Everybody
If you see anybody acting suspiciously contact local police immediately. Our kids are too precious to hesitate and, if it turns out to be innocent, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Be prepared and have a plan for the night more importantly, make sure everybody involved knows the plan and their part in it.

Keep safe and have a great night on the 31st.
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Why? Halloween should be fun and safe
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