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Don’t Let Phantom Facts Haunt Your Kids’ Halloween Safety

trick or treatingWhile many of us have heard about the worrisome news about possible pot treats being snuck into our children’s trick-or-treat bags, and we hear of some crazed candy provider sneaking razor blades and/or pins into our kids, candy, the truth of the matter is, research shows that this strongly persistent fear is a near myth. Few incidents of tainted candy occur. The true danger isn’t the candy, but the streets. More than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle incidents on Halloween between 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm, compared to those same hours for the rest of the year, according to a research conducted in October 2011 by the Safe Kids Halloween Research Study.

While many pot treats do resemble commercial candies, by following some commonsense rules your kids and their candy can remain safe. Make sure candy is in its original packaging, instead of a sandwich bag filled with gummy bears. Check treats for signs of tampering before children eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded, torn or unwrapped. Many of the marijuana edible wrappings do resemble typical goodies. If you’re suspicious of any candy, through it out. Parents should talk to their kids about not eating anything until inspected by an adult.

Talking to your kids is key

It’s not just good enough to tell your child about safety in one briefing. Their attention spans are too short. Engage in repeated discussions, make safety a common theme throughout the week. In short, drill them over and over so that they remember. And what you need to remember is that twice as many children are killed walking on Halloween, so street safety is most important. Staying in groups and staying together is also important. Many costumes are dark and are hard to see at night. Use reflective tape, glow sticks and flashing lights, not only for drivers to spot your kids, but for adults to keep an eye on them.

But before you send them out, parents should be on guard about unsafe costumes. According to the study, many parents allow unsafe costumes to be worn with unsafe masks, loose clothing, sharp objects and dark costumes that can’t be seen on unlit streets.

Twelve percent of children five years of age or younger are permitted to trick-or-treat alone. NEVER let your child under 12 navigate Halloween night alone. There should always be one (even better, a few) parents escorting them. And parents should keep the walks on sidewalks or lit paths and cross at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.

Halloween is intended to be spooky, but don’t let it end with a frightful mishap.

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