YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

A Month Of. . .

Ensuring That Halloween Isn't Too Scary for the Kids

A Month of: Next week: A Month of . . . will look at breast cancer as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

September 29, 1997|SHARI ROAN

September is Baby Safety Month, but we've expanded the definition to look at all "babies," from infants to older children. Today, we look at safety and Halloween.

No doubt you are already scoping out the perfect scary Halloween outfit, but the same energy should also be devoted to keeping little ones safe--a responsibility that should be equally shared by parents, trick-or-treaters and homeowners.

Here, health and safety experts offer tips for a fun Halloween.


* Have your child eat dinner before setting out.

* Ideally, children of any age should be accompanied by an adult (even if Mom or Dad has to maintain a 50-yard distance).

* If older children are allowed to trick or treat unaccompanied, they should have orders for where they can go and how long to stay out.

* Children should carry quarters so they can call home if need be.

* If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.

* If you're not familiar with the homes you visit, consider having goodies X-rayed at hospitals offering the service free of charge.

* Although incidents of tampering are very rare, tell children to bring all treats home before consuming anything. Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspect.


* Carry a flashlight.

* Walk, don't run.

* Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.

* Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.

* Shoes should fit (even if they don't go with your costume).

* Don't cut across yards or driveways.

* Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.

* Stay on the sidewalk.

* If there isn't a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.

* Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape attached for visibility.

* Obey traffic signals.

* Cross only at corners.

* Stay in familiar neighborhoods.

* Approach only houses that are lit.


* Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots, all of which can trip the young ones.

* Battery-powered jack-o'-lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.

* If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.

* Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't be blown into a flaming candle.

* Healthful food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later. Nonfood treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.

And drivers . . .

* Go slow, slow, slow all evening.

Los Angeles Times Articles