By Heather Grocott
Autumn holidays like Halloween are fun times for children of all ages, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, enjoy fall fruits and vegetables, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, engage in physical activity and focus on safety.
Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and your party guests:
· Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
· Avoid trick-or-treating alone with your child. Walk in groups with friends.
· Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you and your child.
· Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating
· Encourage your children to always WALK during trick or treating
· Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
· Dress your children in well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
· Do not allow your child to enter homes
· Carry a cell phone with you
· Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before your child eats them. Limit the amount of treats your child eats.
· Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
· A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
· Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
· Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
· Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
· Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
· Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
· Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
· Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
Heather Grocott is a Director at The Children's Workshop. She holds a BA from Providence College in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Master's Degree from Rhode Island College in Early Childhood Education. Her true passion is not only working with children, but sharing knowledge with families and teachers in order to provide the best early learning experience for all young learners. She is also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Rhode Island Childcare Director’s Association, as well as the Rhode Island College Early Childhood Advisory Board.
The Children’s Workshop has child care and early learning programs in Bourne and South Dennis!