COLUMN: Lyle Karasiuk — Oct. 11, 2012

Lyle Karasiuk
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Halloween is a few short weeks away and maybe you’ve already got a costume picked out. If not there are lots of inexpensive alternatives right in your own home or at a used clothing store. Should you go out shopping for the right costume, consider these tips in your choices: 

• Choose one with light-coloured material that is easier for drivers to see.

• Make sure the costume does not create a tripping hazard by dragging on the ground.

• Have reflective tape on the front and back of the costume to increase visibility.

• Makeup is much safer than a mask. If your costume must have a mask, make sure it has large eyeholes so you can see clearly through the front as well as the sides.

• Avoid using sharp objects as props (e.g. toy swords). Use only props that will bend in case the child falls on it.

• Buy or make a costume with enough room to wear warm clothing on underneath in case of cold weather.

• Be sure to carry a flashlight.

• Include emergency identification information with your child. This could be hidden in the sleeve of the costume or on a bracelet.  

Many homes have already got their decorations out, but if you are headed out some simple advice for you!

• Remove anything from your yard, stairs or porch that a child might trip over.

• Sweep away any wet leaves from your step and sidewalk.

• Do not let children carve pumpkins by themselves.

• Keep outside lights on to make it easier for children to see.

• Pets can be frightened on Halloween. Keep them inside to protect them from cars and prevent them from biting trick-or-treaters.

• Avoid using candles to decorate. Small, inexpensive flashlights that can be used inside pumpkins are safer.

• Because some children have allergies, you may want to give treats other than candy

Halloween is a fun time for children of all ages. Enlist the help of a family member or neighbour to steady the ladder so you don’t fall.

There are alternatives to Halloween treats and parties. Operation Christmas Child is once again in our community. Parkland Ambulance is the local drop of center. You are invited to pick up your supply of boxes but please call ahead first. Boxes can be obtained by calling 953-8358.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse and provides Christmas gift boxes to children in countries around the world. It’s easy to pack a shoe box!

Get your friends, staff at work or neighbours involved. Maybe even have a shoe box party.

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