Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Safety Tips for this Weekend

Q. Our family plans to attend our church's trunk or treat. Our girls, however, want to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood first. Do you have any safety tips for us when we go trick-or-treating with them?

A. This time of year can be a fun-filled time for kids. They enjoy dressing up as princesses, super heroes, or their favorite movie characters. It is also the one time a year they get more candy than any other. This can be very safe time for you and for your kids if you take the right steps to keep them safe.

You already have a good idea of what to do to keep your girls safe this Sunday. You are planning to take them to a local church event to show off their costume and have fun. You can feel much more safe knowing that your child is in a place where people you know are passing out safe candy. Most sheriff's departments recommend attending a community or church-based program to keep kids safe and off streets that could be hazardous.

If you do decide to go door-to-door trick-or-treating before hand, there are several tips I would like to offer to keep your girls safe. Pedestrian injuries are the most common among children on October 31st. Four times as many kids between the ages of 5 and 14 are injured while walking on on this night compared to any other night of the year. This does not have to be your girls if you are keeping a vigilant eye on them and following some safety tips listed below.

Here are 5 things you and your husband can do while trick-or-treating:

1. Check your state's website for sex offenders in your neighborhood. Make sure your kids
stay way from those houses. (Click here to see Alabama's)

2. Teach your children to cross the street properly. They should always look both ways before crossing the street and should cross only at corners or crosswalks. Children should never dart out from between cars or behind objects. They should also always yield to cars whether they think the cars should stop or not.

3. Make sure all children have a flashlight. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and bags for greater visibility.

4. Have children eat a good meal prior to parties or trick-or-treating. This will discourage them from eating too much candy, which can make them sick, and will allow you time to check the candy out. Throw away spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious candy.

5. Only go to houses that you know or that have a porch light on. Never enter someone's house
or car for a treat.

If you would like to talk further with your child about how to be safe this Sunday, click here for a helpful list that is kid friendly.

*This column is not intended to substitute for an actual session with a licensed counselor.


If you have a question you would like to ask, EMAIL US: askanne@abchome.org or leave a comment. We would love to answer one of your questions.

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