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Tyler County Booster - Local News
Stories Added - November 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk Count
y Publishing Company

Halloween fun has already begun!
Tyler County Booster - November 2009

Heritage Village provided area kids with an early start to Halloween with their Pumpkin Painting contest held during this year’s Harvest Festival. You can still check out the winners in the Village gift shop. While Halloween Trick or Treating is always fun, parents should take some precautions to be sure the young children remain safe. Choose a safe costume. When it comes to kids and Halloween costumes, getting them to choose safe costumes can be tough. After all, kids want to be their favorite superhero or movie character and aren’t really worried about how safe those costumes are (or aren’t). When choosing a Halloween costume, be sure that it’s fire-resistant. Because many people have lit jack-o-lanterns on their porches around Halloween, a fire-resistant costume is an absolute necessity.

It’s also important to choose a costume with significant eye holes. Oftentimes, Halloween falls on a school day, and kids are out trick-or-treating in the twilight hours, which is arguably the worst time for drivers and kids alike when it comes to how well they can see. Therefore, a costume must provide kids with adequate peripheral vision so they can see approaching traffic. Remind kids about strangers. Even older trick-or-treaters might let their guard down on Halloween. Kids will be ringing doorbells at homes where they don’t know the residents, so parents should go over the basics, such as not entering the homes or vehicles of any people the kids and their parents don’t both before kids head out to get their candy.

It’s also a good idea for parents to give kids a cell phone when they head out, just in case something happens and kids need to call home. This will keep trick-or-treaters from knocking on a stranger’s door and asking to use their phone, and will enable kids to call home if they feel they’re not safe. Don’t light jack-o-lanterns. While it might seem to go against Halloween tradition, a lit jack-o-lantern is a big safety hazard. Kids often crowd onto porches in bunches when trick-or-treating, and that increases the chance a costume could catch fire. If you must light a jack-o-lantern, light it with a light bulb that can be plugged in.

That way there are no flames and if a pumpkin is kicked over the plug will likely be pulled out of the outlet in the process. Have chaperones whenever possible. As previously mentioned, Halloween typically falls on a weekday, which means kids will be out patrolling the neighborhood for candy after school. That makes it hard for families, many of which consist of two working parents, to arrange for chaperones for trick-or-treating. If possible, take the afternoon off from work to go along with your kids. If you can’t do that, find a babysitter or the parent of a child’s friend to accompany everyone around the neighborhood. Halloween is not as safe as it once was, so taking extra precautions is entirely necessary.

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