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October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween, DC babies!

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To make sure your little ones have a safe, fun Halloween, here are the safety tips & advice local parents shared in our recent survey - Followed by some important reminders for us all:

Keep costumes short so kids don't trip - they do that enough on their own.

For babies, the costumes with footies are great.

Make sure there is adequate room for children to see through masks.

For babies, get costumes that fit like clothing. They make some great onsie-like costumes with matching head- and foot- pieces for babies. For his first halloween at 8 months, my son was a fireman and a lion. Both costumes fared well (he wore each costume twice) and he kept the head- and foot-pieces on. We saw many more elaborate baby costumes, but the babies pulled them off, wouldn't wear the accessories, etc. My advice is to keep it simple.

Babies are not likely to keep the hat or head of the outfit on for long, so just put it on before you got to a costume party, and be prepared to leave it off the rest of the time. It doesn't make the for a perfect outfit, but it does make for a happy baby, and that's perfect.

We will stay close to home. Silver Diner in Springfield is having a little party we may attend.

We stick to our own block, which is very kid-friendly.

Since my son is only 2, we plan on handing out candy this year, but we will dress him up in his costume and have him help us hand out candy...Plus we plan on attending events Halloween/fall festivals that he can wear his costume prior to Halloween night.

We stick to our neighborhood and go to our neighbors' houses that we know. My son likes giving the candy away and seeing the other kids that came to our house, so that was helpful in avoiding too many houses with trick-or-treating.

We'll just be taking our son to the block or two around our house.

For tips on treat and candy safety, here's a notice from the FDA. For more on costume safety, check out this tip sheet from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

And from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a few more reminders for both newbie and veteran parents. Among the most important:

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.

Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.

If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.

Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.

To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will.


Posted by Sarah at 8:00 PM.