What can we do to have a great Halloween and keep our kids safe and healthy? Thanks to Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool here are some great ideas.

Pedestrian Safety

— Supervise your children; Insist on going with your trick-or-treaters. You can always wait on the sidewalk at each house if your child thinks he is too old to have Mom or Dad tag along.

— Plan a route: Before trick-or-treating, talk with your children about where you are going and how many houses you plan to visit. Stick to well-lit houses in familiar neighborhoods only preferably on streets with sidewalks.

— Make your children visible: Go early and carry flashlights. Give your children glow necklaces to wear and put reflective tape on their costumes or clothing. You can buy reflective tape at most hardware stores.

— Stay on the sidewalks: Remind your children to stay on the sidewalks and avoid crossing yards. Lawn ornaments, furniture, and clotheslines present tripping and falling dangers. Avoid taking shortcuts across backyards or alleys.

— Cross at the corner: Stop at all street corners and stay together in a group before crossing. Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks, and do not cross between parked cars. Remind your children over and over again to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

— Drive carefully: Drive slowly and follow traffic signals and the rules of the road. Exit driveways and alleyways carefully. Have children get out of your car on the curb side, not on the traffic side. Watch for children in the street and on medians. Expect some children to dart out in front of you.

Costume Safety

— Attach your children’s names and address to their costumes.

— If possible, have your children wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.

— If your child is carrying a prop, such as a sword or pitchfork, make sure that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if your child falls on them.

— Avoid long, baggy, or loose costumes to prevent tripping.

— Insist that your children wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mom’s high heels are better for costume parties, not trick-or-treating.

— Securely fit hats and scarves to prevent them from slipping over your children’s eyes.

— Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have your child wear a mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If you use a mask, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.

Pumpkin Safety

— Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.

— Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin and then do the cutting yourself.

— Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave light4d pumpkin unattended.

— If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that children’s costumes won’t accidentally set on fire.

— Artificial lights and candles are a safer alternative to real candles.

Is Halloween Candy Safe?

Parents should take precautions about candy consumption, but it’s also important to have a realistic sense of harm. It’s easy for the media to give us the sense that the world is a more menacing place than it really is. In the 1980’s, a myth spread about the serious risk of troubled people using poison and razor blades to tamper with Halloween candy. Almost all reports were discredited. But no amount of debunking can completely alleviate parent anxiety. After all, however rare, it could happen. As a precaution:

— For young children, remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

— Instruct your children to show you all their candy before eating it so that you can carefully inspect it for tampering.

— Tell your children not to accept or eat anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.

— Throw out candy or treats that are homemade, unwrapped, or have torn wrapping.

Managing the Candy Glut

How can you handle the candy craze after you’ve inspected it for safety? Here are some strategies to try.

— Too much candy can lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. To reduce trick-or-treat munching, give your children a snack or light meal before you leave to go trick-or-treating. Don’t head out on an empty stomach.

— Let your child know ahead of time how many pieces he can eat on Halloween night.

— The next day, have your child choose ten to fifteen pieces to keep, and give the rest to a local food bank or throw it out.

— Limit your child’s candy consumption to one piece per day, and have them follow with good teeth brushing.

— Freeze candy bars and chocolate for special treats throughout the winter.

With a little education, a little moderation, and proper brushing after eating, your children can enjoy candy without ruining their teeth.

Happy Halloween!

Bright Horizons® is the leading provider of high-quality early education and preschool. Our programs empower children from infancy on to become confident, successful learners and secure, caring people. Our programs invite children to develop the skills and confidence to succeed in school and beyond. To learn more visit us at www.brighthorizons.com.