Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Night Safety Tips and Last-Minute Costume Ideas

Halloween night is just a few days away and in order to make it a fun night it is important for you and your children to follow some basic safety precautions.

Here are some tips to follow when you go out on the evening of October 31st:

Make sure and only trick or treat at homes of people that you know.
Try going to neighbors, friends, people in your ward, relatives, and your parent’s place of employment. You could even go to stores and business that are reputable. A lot of them give away treats to children on Halloween night.

Carry a flashlight and/or wear something on your clothes that makes you visible to cars when walking outside. It is important to be careful when walking from house-to-house at night because there a lot of cars around on Halloween night in the neighborhoods. Have at least one person carry a flashlight in your group and wear something that glows in the dark on the outside of your costume so that cars can see you better.

If you are an adult who is driving kids around, be sure to watch for kids on the road and obey all traffic laws. If you are driving, make sure and go slower when traveling through neighborhoods where there are a lot of kids walking around. Don’t assume that kids see you and always let the kids cross the street, even if you feel like you should be able to go first. Pedestrians always have the right of way. Be sure to look when backing out of driveways as kids may be walking behind your car.

Check your children’s candy for signs of tampering. I am sure all of us have heard the horror stories of candy that has poison in it or has been tampered with. Make sure and throw out any candy that looks suspicious or appears to have been un-wrapped and wrapped again. There is no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to your children’s safety.

One of the hardest decisions a child will have to make in their young life will be what costume to wear for Halloween. This is always a big deal for kids. They start thinking about these things when October 1st comes around. They have 30 days to decide what they want to be for Halloween. Some kids know right away and others will wait until the last minute to make a decision.
There are times when we as parents need to step in and make these difficult decisions for them. Due to the past month’s economic struggles, it is important to think of costumes that won’t cost much money if any money at all.
Here are 5 low budget costume ideas that most kids will enjoy and will be easy on your wallet:
1. Nerdy kid. When I was 15, the movie “Revenge of the Nerds” came out. This was a show about a group of nerdy kids who went to college and ended up becoming very popular at the college they attended. That year, me and my friends wore our Dad’s shirts from the 70’s, put on funny looking glasses, and bell-bottom pants. You could dress your kids up in some of your old funny-looking clothes, although the clothes I wore as a kid to be nerds are now in style again.
2. Newspaper Boy/Girl. Give your child a stack of newspapers and have him carry them around and act like a newspaper delivery boy/girl. Don’t tell your child that they really are a newspaper delivery person, just show them what a cool costume idea it is to have a big pile of newspapers and actually give them to the people who give you treats.
3. Football fan. Dress your child up in your favorite team’s clothes/hat and have them go as a football fan. I am a big Packers fan and I would have my child wear one of my shirts, my hat, and paint their face in the Packers colors of green and gold.
4. Borrow a Halloween costume. My mom has a closet full of costumes she has made for the grandkids and they’ve all been worn several times by different grandkids. Ask around, most people have a dress up or costume bin you could probably borrow from.
5. Politician. Have your child put on a dress or a suit and tie and be a politician. You can explain that politicians go door-to-door asking for free hand outs just like Halloween. Make sure you have your child promise the neighbors lots of things in return, like they won’t play their radio too loud anymore, won’t break your window with the baseball anymore, won’t bother you anymore, etc….you know, promise things like a politician does.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween and hope that the Newspaper boy shows up at your door rather than the Politician.

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