4 Tips to Keep Your Children Safe This Halloween

Guest post by Charlotte from Home Safety Hub.org.  Thank you for these safety tips.

4 Tips to Keep Your Children Safe This Halloween

blog-pic-safe-halloween-10-16Photo by Antranius via Pixabay

When many people think about Halloween safety for children, they think about horrible things that bad people can do. Not a year goes by when we don’t hear tales of razor blades in candy or apples, poison, or other tampering. This year, in case you haven’t seen the news reports from around the country, there seems to be a rash of creepy clown sightings leading up to the holiday (some of which have actually posed legitimate threats), so parents and grandparents should definitely be paying special attention to the safety of their kids as they set out to trick-or-treat.

The obvious tip is to simply accompany them on their quest for candy and keep an eye on them as they go door-to-door. In actuality, it’s more likely that some type of accident will spoil your halloween than people with ill intent, so our four safety tips start there.

     1. Make Sure Your Kids Are Visible

Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance your kids will be trick-or-treating in the dark. Typically, the event begins when there’s still daylight, but this time of year, the sun is starting to go down earlier. Beware of the dark and the dangers that come with it.

The biggest danger is traffic. While drivers should be on high alert during trick-or-treat time, they may not always see kids in darkly colored costumes, especially if they’re distracted or have come from a party where alcohol was served. Make sure your kids are wearing bright colors or have something that glows or reflects on them. This could be as simple as carrying glow sticks along with their trick-or-treat bag.

     2. Make Sure the World is Visible to Them!

Just as others may have a hard time seeing your children in the dark, your children may have problems seeing as well if you don’t take precautions. Make sure their vision isn’t impaired by a mask. It’s also not a bad idea to have them carry a flashlight in case they have trouble seeing where they’re walking. They may be walking through yards and on walkways that have steps or other obstacles they could trip over. You’ll also want to make sure their costume doesn’t have pieces that can be tripped over.

     3. Make Sure They Understand Not to Go Into People’s Homes

You would advise your kids not to go into strangers’ homes any other time of the year, but the very event of trick-or-treating seems to directly contradict the old “don’t take candy from strangers” adage, and could send your child mixed messages. Some people believe it’s best to simply limit trick-or-treating to people you actually know, and that’s certainly the safest bet. In reality, many kids are going to be going all over the neighborhood trying to get their bags filled up. Chances are, you don’t know every person in every house. As I said earlier, it’s best to accompany them and keep an eye on them, but you should still make sure they understand that they should not go into anyone’s home without your permission.

     4. Make Sure Treats are Safe

Speaking of that whole “taking candy from strangers thing,” no Halloween safety list would be complete without the reminder that you must make sure the treats your children received are safe. They’ll be eager to dig in, but you need to take a few minutes to inspect candy wrappers to make sure they haven’t been tampered with. If you were given unpackaged treats, just put them right in the trash (assuming they didn’t come from someone you know personally). Your kids might take issue with this, but just explain to them why you’re doing it and that you have their best interest in mind. Besides, most kids are much more interested in candy bars than baked goods.

Those stories we hear each year about candy tampering are usually exposed as hoaxes. This stuff really doesn’t happen as often as one might assume. However, it only takes one bad experience to cause a serious problem. Choose safety!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Teaching Children With Learning Disabilities: Free Dyslexia & Dyscalculia Tests

As a Special Education teacher starting out teaching in the late seventies, our Resource Room focused on auditory and visual problems that interfered with children’s learning.  These were some of the skills we focused on in our Resource Room:

  • Auditory Memory
  • Auditory Sequencing
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual Sequencing

But after two or three years, there was an emphasis placed on teaching the core subjects of reading, math, writing, and English.   The auditory and visual skills were a small part of those objectives, but not to the extent they once were.

Teachers and parents have utilized activities involving these skills such as listening to a story which requires auditory sequencing (“Brown Bear, Brown Bear”).  And there are memory match-up games (Concentration style) that require visual memory.  But for the child who is deficit in any of the above areas, that may not be enough.  Regular classroom teachers do not have the time to address these deficits in detail, and many home-schooling parents don’t know exactly what to do or what works best.

After teaching in the Resource Room for six years, I became a stay-at-home mom with our first baby, Christi.  I went back to teaching school when she was nearly four, but this time in a first grade classroom.  Through the years, I had children with learning disabilities and wished I had the time to work with them like I did in the Resource Room.  But I didn’t, and so I had to do the best I could.  It takes time and concentrated effect to work on auditory and visual skills.

Talking about auditory and visual skills, I have been given the opportunity to review the online Learning Link Educational Therapy Product which deals with brain retraining, and I am excited to be able to do this.  They deal with the auditory and visual skills that are so often passed over quickly. I have been so overwhelmed with all the work at school, though, that I have not had the time to review their product extensively, but over time I hope to get back to you with more information.  For now, I’ll say that I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Learning Link Technologies offers a free Dyslexia Test and also free Dyscalculia Testing.  You can print these tests and give them to your child if you have concerns about these areas. These tests are absolutely free, there is no commitment, and they can give you insight into your child’s needs. I think that’s too good an offer to pass up!


Family Meals

Table Time: Why Eating With Family Matters

Guest Post By: Joy Paley also known for her musing on sites like sonogram technician programs and christian counseling degree

It’s certainly not getting easier to sit around the table with your family and a wholesome dinner. If you’re a working mom, you probably drive straight from work to pick your kids up from practice or another after-school activity. Grabbing a few burgers on the way home or eating sandwiches in front of the TV can be an inviting option when you’ve such had a long day. And, it’s hard to make kids themselves sit still for 30 minutes to share a little time around the dinner table. There are benefits to making the effort to have a family meal, however. Even if you can’t do it every night, consider making it a 2 or 3 times a week tradition.

Being Here Now: Sitting down to eat is a form of thoughtful meditation. It’s a time to relax and reflect on the day, in a conscious manner. Try it sometime—eating while standing in front of the fridge or while watching TV just isn’t the same. Sitting around a table lets everyone in your family have a little chill out time from work, from homework, from cell phones and other technology. It’s a type of relaxation that we don’t get enough of these days.

Create Stability: For kids, stability is created by events they can anticipate, that happen again and again. Making family dinner a usual occurrence in your household is one easy way to provide this stability, and to give your kids a sense of control in their lives. Several scientific studies have found a significant positive correlation between a family’s eating habits and the amount of conflict they experience. Families with healthy, stable eating habits had less turbulent relationships than those who ate junk in front of the TV.

My own family, while growing up, was not without problems. My older brother decided to drop out of high school and fought with my dad constantly. Through it all, we still had family dinner (although my brother didn’t always attend). As a younger kid, this stability helped me understand that we were going to get through the difficult period, and that things were going to be okay.

Make Time to Talk: Especially as your kids move into their teen years, actually talking to them about anything of note can become difficult. They clam up, and respond to any questions with a head nod or a mumbling “uh huh.” Eating around a table naturally encourages talking; it’s a low-stress environment for sharing and communicating with one another. It’s is a great opportunity to sneak meaningful discussions into your time with your preteen or teen, without them even noticing.

Eat Better: With nearly ¾ of the U.S. population overweight or obese, many people are doing all they can to stay healthy. Eating meals around a table is a simple step you can take for you and your family, to ensure that everyone eats better. Why? The more conscious you are of eating, the likelier you are to only eat the amount of food you actually need. Unlike eating in front of the TV, you won’t be shoveling food into your mouth without even noticing it.

And, meals served around a table are likelier themselves to be healthier. When is the last time you served a butter-laden bowl of instant mac and cheese for a family meal around the table? You’re more likely to put together a balanced dinner when it’s served in a bit more formal setting. So what’s the bottom line about family dinners? They help you relax, reconnect, eat, and feel better. They take a little more energy, but will certainly pay off over time for you and your family.

Wordy Wednesday: Precious Kids!

If you’d like to join in Wordy Wednesday, too, just head on over to Frugal Novice.

Whenever we would travel over 800 miles in our minivan to visit Grandma, Christi always got the back bench seat where she could sleep to her heart’s content. Her younger brother always sat in the middle section. 

When I think back to this memory, I realize how fast time has flown. So take time with your little ones! They are more important than a spotless house. They are more important than all the things on a “To Do” list. Babies grow up and move away, but housework and “To Do” lists remain. Take time to rock your baby, to read that extra story to your child even though you’re so tired (one day you’ll wish you could read it to them), to do the little things that are important to your child that make them feel loved.  I don’t regret not doing certain things so I could spend more time with our kids.

If you don’t know exactly what is important to your older kids then I recommend reading “The Five Love Languages of Children” and “The Five Love Languages of Teenagers.” They are worth the time invested in buying and reading these books!