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Recommended Tips for a Safe Halloween

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on October 24, 2012 with No Comments

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), Indiana State Police (ISP) and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) offer the following tips for a safe Halloween:

Trick or Treat safety tipsTips for Motorists

  • Due to the number of children out on the street on Halloween evening, motorists should be very careful driving along city streets, especially in neighborhoods, during designated trick-or-treat hours.
  • Avoid talking on a cell phone or other distracting activities.
  • Remember that excited children may dart out into traffic at any time without warning.
  • Drive with your headlights on, even during daylight trick-or-treat hours, so that your vehicle is more visible to children.

Safety on the RoadHalloween Safety Health Tips

  • Trick-or-treaters should use sidewalks instead of the street whenever possible and always cross at crosswalks.
  • Remind children to look both ways before crossing the street.
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  • Teach children to never assume they are seen by a vehicle. Small children may be especially difficult to spot in the dark.
  • Children should also carry flashlights after dark to easily see and be seen.

Costumes

  • When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, make sure the label says “flame resistant.” While this doesn’t ensure these items won’t catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
  • To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
  • Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
  • For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.

Safe Homes

  • Homeowners and renters expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches.
  • Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

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  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps to avoid slips.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

Trick-or-Treating

  • Only trick-or-treat during hours designated by the community.
  • Children should only visit familiar homes that have the porch light on.
  • Make sure older children trick-or-treat with friends and carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Younger children should walk in groups with older children or be accompanied by an adult.

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  • Children should never enter a home, but should wait on the porch for the resident to hand out treats.

Eating Treats

  • Children should be instructed to refrain from eating any treats until after they get home.
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  • Parents should inspect their children’s treats before allowing the children to eat them.
  • Only eat candy wrapped in its original wrapper and inspect all fruit thoroughly before allowing children to eat it.

For more information about safety this fall, visit

Halloween can be a Healthy, Teachable Moment

There is no shortage of sweet treats on Halloween, which can often be a nightmare for parents.  It may consist of constant bargaining with their kids about how much candy they can consume.  Instead of dreading the season, use it as an opportunity to teach your children about leading a healthy lifestyle.  TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers tips to encourage families to talk about healthy eating and candy’s role in their diets.

Safety & Tips for HalloweenSet Guidelines

Before the day of trick-or-treating, discuss with your kids the quantity and frequency they can consume their sweets and where they will be stored, so there are no surprises on Halloween.  Having your kids help set the candy parameters will teach them about portion control and how to incorporate treats into their everyday lives.  Perhaps, they can have a few extra sweets on Halloween, but are limited to three pieces of candy each day following – only after they’ve finished a nutritious meal.  You can even divide the candy into portioned bags, so it’s clear what your kids are allowed to eat.

Have a Conversation

Halloween is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about healthy eating.  Make sure to cover nutrition basics and the importance of physical activity, explaining how sweet treats can fit into their healthy habits.  It is an important lesson about moderation and will help children to understand and make healthy lifestyle choices at an early age, so, hopefully, they won’t struggle in the future.

Choose Favorites

The kids are going to collect numerous types of candy – suckers, chocolates, gummies, and other confections.  Some treats they’ll love and others they’ll be able to live without.  When they get home from trick-or-treating, have them sort their candy into two piles: their favorites and non-favorite treats.  It demonstrates to children that they don’t have to eat every piece they receive just because it’s there; they should save their indulgences for desserts and candy that they absolutely love.  Their less favorite treats can be saved for the future or given away.  Let them help make the decision.

Serve Healthy Meals

To help curb snacking while they collect candy, serve a hearty, balanced snack or meal before they leave.  Also, encourage your kids to wait until they get home to eat any of their goodies.

Lead by Example

Be a role model for your children and mindful of the amount of candy you’re consuming, too.  You may struggle with regulating your candy intake, but if you’re trying to teach your kids about self-control and healthy eating, it’s important that you practice these behaviors.  You can also set an example for the rest of the neighborhood by handing out healthier treats – trail mix, sugar-free gum, microwave popcorn, granola bars, graham crackers, raisins, bouncy balls, yo-yos, sidewalk chalk, and other such goodies.

About TOPS:  TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded more than 64 years ago, TOPS is the only nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind. To find a local chapter, go to or call 800-932-8677.

 

How to Have a Heart Healthy Halloween

Halloween is known to bring out the sweet-toothed animal in us all. Try these tips from the American Heart Association for a healthier Hallows Eve this year:

  • Have a healthy meal before you go trick-or-treating to reduce temptation to snack while walking.
  • Make trick-or-treating a workout. Set a goal of how many houses you will walk to or wear pedometers and have healthy prizes for the person who has the most steps.
  • Think about a healthier version of treats to give out at your house: Mini boxes of raisins, 100 percent juice juice-boxes, snack-sized pretzels, pre-packaged trail mixes, pre-packaged dried fruits, single serving fruit cups, crayons, Halloween stickers, silly bands, tooth brushes, bubbles, plastic spiders, glow sticks, pencils or coloring books. Avoid using toys that could be a choking hazard to little ones.
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  • Find the right-sized collection bag for your child. Steer clear of the pillowcase method.
  • Smart safety tips to keep in mind: bring a flash light while walking, only go to houses with the porch light on, inspect candy before allowing children to eat it, and be on your way home before the street lights come on.
  • Remember to stay in groups when trick-or-treating. Don’t allow your child to walk up to a house alone and always keep a watchful eye on where they are headed next. Use sidewalks when available, and use crosswalks when crossing busier streets.
  • Want to avoid candy and masses of kids? Dress your family up in their costumes and go see a movie, go to the toy store and have your child pick out their favorite toy, see if local malls have trick-or-treat within the stores, local police and fire stations may offer this alternative as well.

Follow these suggestions to have a healthy post-Halloween:

  • Avoid the urge to buy on-sale candy in the grocery stores after Halloween. The decision not to buy something once is a lot easier than saying no every time you walk by the candy jar.
  • Pick out enough candy for one piece a day for five days and put those in the fridge. When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack like an apple, a banana, some healthy nuts.
  • “Buy back” the candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity like a day at the zoo or an ice skating adventure.
  • As a parent, you can encourage your kids to evaluate their Halloween treat choices and physical activity habits. Limit their treat intake and add extra physical activity after snacking. Be a good role model and watch your sugar intake as well. It will help send a message that good health is impor­tant to your family.
  • Some dentist offices have been known to buy back the candy from their patients so be on the lookout for that option.

About the American Heart Association: The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit . The remaining support came from the federal samedaypaper.org/ government, or from other local sources

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