Halloween precautions

This story originally appeared in the Wednesday, October 11, 2006 edition of The Kansas City Star

These Halloween safety tips are provided by the Kansas-National Education Association:

Know where your children will be on Halloween

The best time to trick-or-treat is early evening. Preschool through third grade youngsters should be accompanied by an adult or responsible teenager. Older children should go with friends. Parents can help plan a route map for trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. And remind them only to visit homes or apartments where the lights are on.

Set time limits with your children. Perhaps tuck an alarm clock in the bag of older trick or treaters to signal when it’s time to come home?

Review these pedestrian rules: Cross streets at corners; watch for traffic in all directions; stick to sidewalks if possible; don’t walk between cars or cut through vacant lots.

Give kids a flashlight with fresh batteries.

Emphasize that all goodies need to be brought home for inspection before eating.

Any doubt about something in the bag? Throw it out. Allow your child to eat only those treats that come in original, unopened wrappers. To avoid squabbles, combine all the food in one bag or bowl.

Costumes should be white or light

Decorate with reflective tape so motorists can easily see small ghosts and goblins.

Make-up or grease paint is better than a mask. If your child does wear a mask, enlarge the eyeholes until he/she can see clearly.

Try on costumes before Halloween. Ask your child to walk around the house a bit. That way you can fix anything that might cause a fall or is constrictive.

Instruct children to stay clear of cats and dogs while in costume. A strange costume can make even the tamest dog aggressive.