Halloween is celebrated by the Christian community all around the world on the 30th of October. It is held one day before All Saints Day. Some scholars say that the day is celebrated to mark the dead and lots of gifts are distributed especially to the children. These are to honour the elders in the family who have died earlier. However there are certain other theories regarding the origin of the day.
Some celebrate the day with trick-or-treat when the children go around the place from door to door and are offered candies and other goodies by the residents. Costume parties are also held on the day. Bonfires are lit at different places and lanterns are carved out both by the children and elders. Some children dress up as ghosts and move around the place visiting haunted sites and watching ghost movies.
Though this is a fun filled event and celebrated by both parents and kids in a different manner, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their child is safe while celebrating Halloween with his friends, especially when he is acting as a little ghost.
While making the costume for the child, keep the following tips for precautions in mind:
- Buy light coloured costumes for your child. On the front and back of the costume fix strips of glowing tape so that your child can be distinguished and visible even at night.
- The costume to be worn by the child should be made using fire retardant cloth. This will prevent accidental fire on the clothes when he is around a bonfire or lit lanterns.
- If the child is wearing a wig or beard ensure that the hair does not enter the eyes of the child and also does not block the nose and mouth of the child. This could cause suffocation.
- Affix a tag securely on the clothes of the child mentioning his name, address and your telephone number so that you can be contacted in case of need.
- Do not make clothes too loose or the child may get entangled in some object and get injured.
- Kids should carry with them only flexible swords or arrows to prevent injury to him and fellow children.
Carving a pumpkin to light a lamp in it is an important part of celebration of Halloween day. In this process sharp objects are needed. Keep the following in mind:
- The child will insist on participating in the preparation of a lantern from a pumpkin. Let him draw a mask on the pumpkin and do the cutting part yourself. Do not give the knife to the child.
- While doing the cutting process keep the child at a distance. The child may jump towards the pumpkin out of curiosity.
- The child will insist on removing pumpkin guts. Do not give him the knife, instead allow him to participate using a spoon or ice cream scoop.
- When the work is complete clean the floor as pumpkin gut is slippery.
- Finally the candle should be lighted in a manner that it does not fall out and become a cause of fire. You may fix a small bulb in the pumpkin.
Trick-or-treating is an important part of the celebration liked by children and also performed by them. They go from door to door to collect gifts. While allowing them, make some rules for children:
- If the kid is below 10 years keep any eye on his movement. Do not let small children go out without the company of an elder. They should carry the name, address and phone number of parents with them.
- Time limit of being out on a round for older children should be fixed. They should be told to be back at home before sunset. Children should be warned not to go to the homes of strangers or board the cars of strangers.
- Limit the visit of the children to the locality and houses of the known people.
During the day it is possible that the children have collected lots of candies and other gifts. When the child is back ensure to collect all candies from him and keenly observe them to ensure that no tampering has been done with them. There have been instances of inserting pins, blades etc. in candies which resulted in injury to children. If the wrapping of some candy has been cut and resealed, discard that piece.
Do not allow your child to eat too many candies skipping his normal meals. Limit the number to be eaten by him and that too after the child has finished his meals. This way the child will enjoy the festival and remain safe.