HOW TO NOT GET SPOOKED AT THE SCARIEST TIME OF YEAR
Halloween is a chance for kids – and adults – to have some fun by dressing up as all kinds of characters, decorating the house, baking spooky treats and walking around your neighbourhood to marvel at the ghoulish transformations.
It’s a great time to get creative by refashioning old clothing and household items into costumes and decorations, or perhaps you prefer to purchase outfits and accessories to get the kids into the spirit of the season (pun intended!). Either way, we have pulled together some of our top tips to help you and your family safely enjoy the spookiest month of the year.
A lot of costumes and accessories are designed to be worn over regular clothing and so may fasten with cords (witches’ capes, full-face masks or hats that tie around the chin, for example). Long strings or cords can pose a choking or strangulation hazard for kids, so where possible, it’s safest to choose costumes that fasten with velcro.
When choosing costumes and accessories, look for those that have a label stating they are flame resistant.
It’s also important to check any accessories such as novelty headbands, flameless candles, swords, broomsticks and wands that light up or make noise, as they may operate with button batteries. Button batteries pose a serious risk for children – if you do decide to use these items, it’s important to make sure that the battery compartment is secured and cannot be opened by children.
Kids will be delighted with even the simplest of dress-up items, so a cape made from an adult’s T-shirt and a home-made cardboard hat and wand might be all they need to join in the fun.
Baking, Making & Decorating
While the kids may be eager to carve some pumpkins, this one is a job for the adults – not only is it messy, with sharp objects such as knives involved it can also be dangerous. You can still involve your kids in the process by having them help you draw out the eyes and mouth which you can carve later, or your family might like to paint faces onto pumpkins instead of carving them.
When it comes time to displaying your jack-o-lantern creations, it’s safer to not use candles inside of them as these can pose both a fire and burns risk.
It’s fun to get the kids involved in making their own costumes and Halloween decorations, and they can safely do this if you provide items such as cut-out felt or other fabric, cardboard, paper and some kids craft glue. There are some fantastic kid-friendly ideas and lots of inspiration to be gained from Pinterest and other online sites!
Kids can also be included if you are making edible Halloween items such as cookies or cupcakes. With your supervision, they can help to mix the ingredients, roll and shape the dough, and decorate the items with coloured icing once they’re baked. We’re sure they’ll offer to be your official taste tester too. 😆
Strolling the Streets and Eating Treats in Spooky Style
While you’re out on your trick or treat journey, there will be lots of exciting things to see, friends to interact with and of course, treats to gather. While this all provides a lot of fun, it can also pose a number of distractions for little pedestrians.
It’s important to keep road and driveway safety in mind when out having fun, making sure that the kids are always closely supervised by an adult and that everyone follows the Stop, Look, Listen and Think safe crossing procedure.
If neighbours leave out lollies for trick or treat, it’s a good idea to check them to ensure they are age appropriate before the kids tuck into them. Anything smaller than a 20 cent piece can pose a choking hazard for toddlers, including treats such as marshmallows, hard lollies and bubble gum. Other common foods that pose choking hazards for toddlers include apples, grapes, popcorn, corn chips, nuts and dried fruit.
Top tip! You may like to bring along some treats that you know are safe to give to younger children so that they can feel included when their older siblings are finding or consuming trick or treat lollies.
As always, we are here to help.
If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, call the Poisons Information Centre immediately on 13 11 26 (if your child is having difficulty breathing, call triple zero).
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.