1. Halloween Dos and Don’ts

    Halloween fun is right around the corner. But think about last year’s Halloween for a moment. If it brings back memories of candy binges and outrageously expensive costumes, it’s time to make some improvements. Check out our list of Halloween Dos and Don’ts for some tips on making this Halloween better than ever!

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    Costumes

    DO make a Halloween budget. It should include anything needed for costumes, candy, and decorations.

    DON’T spend a lot of money. Store-bought costumes can break the bank – and who wants to do that for something a kid will only wear once?  

    DO borrow costumes from friends. Put something up on Facebook or Twitter to see if your friends might have any costumes or costume materials they’re not using this year. But…

    DON’T make your kids wear the same costume as last year.

    Trick or Treating

    DO look up when trick or treating is in your neighborhood. There’s nothing more embarrassing than going out on the wrong night.

    DON’T get hung up on decorations for your house. Some people go all-out. You don’t have to.  

    DO make sure your kids say thank you at every house where they trick-or-treat.

    Candy

    DO make rules about candy. Make these rules clear to your children before trick-or-treating, that way there’s no ambiguity. 

    DON’T let kids eat all their candy at once.

    DO donate extra Halloween candy.

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    Sources

    http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2012/10/10-halloween-dos-and-donts.html

    http://www.chambanamoms.com/2013/10/15/cu-on-halloween-dos-and-donts/

     

  2. Ghosts, Goblins & Ghouls – Oh My!

    Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year – when else can you spend an entire month eating candy and dressing up in costume? Since Halloween parties are a great way to get friends and family together for a night of scarily good food, fun, and fashion, here are a few simple ideas to make your eerie get-together the best yet.

    Picking a Halloween costume is a childhood ritual whose enjoyment lasts well into adulthood. Buying a costume ensures a quick and speedy transformation into whatever superhero or fantasy character kids may choose, but if you have the time, making a costume from scratch can provide a lifetime of fun memories. For no-sew costumes, use an oversized sweatshirt as a base on which to draw, pin, or hot glue a variety of accessories and decorations. But whether you decide to buy or DIY, make sure the costume is easy to get on and off, and fits properly – too-loose costumes can pose a safety hazard.

    Half the fun of Halloween parties is making your home look as spooky as possible. Carving a pumpkin is a traditional Halloween activity for a reason – it’s fun! Think you’re pretty handy with a pumpkin carving knife? Use your imagination to create one-of-a-kind pumpkins that reflect the personalities of your children and family members.  If you need other decorations, visit your local craft store for supplies like plastic spiders, string, and glitter. Loop the string around a pumpkin like a cobweb, and pop on a few spiders for a creepy crawly table centerpiece, or carefully cover the pumpkin in glue and glitter for a glitzier look.  

    No party is complete without a spread of snacks, and Halloween is a great opportunity to give some of your kids’ favorite foods a ghoulish makeover. Turn a familiar hot dog into an unearthly “mummy dog” by wrapping it in thin slices of crescent roll dough, and baking until the dough resembles a mummy’s bandages. Pipe a cobweb of sour cream onto a bowl of salsa or nacho dip, or make a “candy corn” pizza with mozzarella in the middle and cheddar around the edge. Black and orange cookies (instead of black and white) and pumpkin cupcakes are easy desserts that everyone is sure to love.

    Trick-or-treating is another Halloween rite of passage, but make sure kids know your ground rules. Young children should never go out unless accompanied by an adult. All treats should be examined before consumption, and no matter how delicious they look or smell, homemade items should be ignored in favor of wrapped, store-bought candies. Wearing reflective tape on a costume will alert drivers when kids cross the street, which they should always do with the help of an adult.

    Celebrating Halloween can create long lasting memories of family bonding and excitement. And with a little planning, patience, and organization, you can make your annual Halloween party a treasured family tradition. 

    Sources:

    http://www.parenting.com/gallery/no-carve-pumpkins?pnid=611009

    http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/

    http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/10/easy-halloween-party-food/

     

  3. Common Tips To Help Increase Halloween Safety

    [Image by Anika Malone]

    From Aaron Miller, M.D. at ChildrensMD:

    The Costume

    • Dark costumes are hard to see at dusk or dark. Consider a light colored costume or adding reflective tape (available at most hardware stores).
    • Masks with small holes make seeing difficult. Consider face paint instead.
    • Avoid costumes that drag along the ground and can lead to falling.

    The Street

    • Drive extra slowly when going through neighborhoods, especially where there are parked cars that children can run out from behind.
    • Cross the street with your children as few times as possible by going to all houses on one side, then switching to the houses on the opposite side of the street.
    • Have children trick-or-treat in groups which includes at least one responsible adult.
    • Have children carry a flashlight to help them see and be seen better.

    [Image by Gudlyf]

    The Candy

    • Avoid homemade goods unless you know the neighbor.
    • Avoid candy that is not properly wrapped.
    • Consider healthier treats for trick-or-treaters, such as individual packs of raisins, trail mix, or pretzels.
    • Consider having your children turn their candy into cash through the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program. This program, usually run out of participating dentist offices, gives one dollar for every pound of Halloween candy. This candy is, in turn, then sent as part of a care package to troops serving overseas. 

    [Image by Anika Malone]

    The Home

    • Be careful of pumpkins or other decorations with lit candles, as they can lead to fire.
    • Make sure your smoke detector batteries have been replaced recently.
    • Be careful of decorations and wires that can trip or injure children.

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    Are these tips that you have heard of and utilized before? What rules and suggestions to you tell your kids every year when they go out trick-or-treating?

    [The first 25 valid comments to this post on Blog.CookiesKids.com will be emailed an exclusive CookiesKids.com gift certificate!]

     

  4. Halloween Safety Tips For Kids With Allergies Or Asthma

    [Image by itchys]

    From Jackson Hospital’s Health Library:

    Parents of kids with allergies and asthma don’t need to be afraid of letting their children enjoy the holiday. But it is important to take some precautions to make sure that kids avoid potentially serious reactions to the allergy or asthma triggers that sometimes lurk in candy, costumes, and makeup.

    To protect your favorite little ghost or goblin, follow these tips from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology:

    • Be cautious about candy. Don’t let kids who have food allergies eat any treat before you’ve checked its package—or the company website—for a list of all ingredients. Should you have any doubt about the ingredients, throw the candy away. Also, teach your child to politely refuse any home-baked treats, such as cookies or cupcakes.
    • Don’t be tricked by small treats. Be aware that small candy bars may have different ingredients from their regular-size counterparts. Consequently, even if a certain candy is safe for your child, its “fun-size” version might not be.
    • Take away temptation. Feed your trick-or-treater before leaving home so that he or she will be less tempted to gobble up possibly problematic candy. 
      When your child returns home with loot in hand, collect any treats with troublesome ingredients and replace them with allergen-free treats. Or arrange a candy swap with siblings and friends where your child can trade harmful treats for safe ones.
    • Make your home the haunted house. You might bypass trick-or-treating altogether and invite your child’s friends to a Halloween party—where you can control the food that’s served.

    [Image by KB35]

    • Send your youngster out with more than a candy bag. If he or she has asthma, pack a quick-relief inhaler. Cold weather or mold spores hidden in piles of leaves might trigger an attack. Likewise, if your youngster has a life-threatening allergy, pack injectable epinephrine in case of a severe reaction. Any child with severe asthma or allergies should wear a medical alert identification bracelet or chain—even if he or she objects that it’s not part of a Halloween costume. This safeguard can speed treatment in the event of an emergency.
    • Choose safe costumes. Masks can interfere with breathing, which means kids with asthma should either wear a half mask or no mask at all. Masks and costumes may also contain latex and other allergy triggers, so be sure to read their labels if your child has allergies. Also keep in mind that makeup and hair dyes may harbor irritants that can bring on an asthma attack.
    • Don’t let your child trick-or-treat alone. Depending on your child’s age, either accompany your child or see that he or she heads out with a group of friends or a responsible adult. If you’re not present, be sure that whoever is with your child knows about your youngster’s allergies or asthma and how to respond to a severe reaction or attack.

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    Do you have allergy- or asthma-prone children? What are your tips and suggestions for a safe and healthy Halloween?

    [The first 25 valid comments to this post on Blog.CookiesKids.com will be emailed an exclusive CookiesKids.com gift certificate!]

     

  5. Lucky 13 Halloween Safety Tips

    From the Mount Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross: 

    CookiesKids.com and The Red Cross want your family to have a safe and fun Halloween, so we ask that you please follow these tips to have a successful & worry free “trick-or-treat”ing night:

    1) Map out the route that you plan to roam, so adults are assured you will find your way back home safely.

    2) From the bravest of superheros to the noblest of knights, everyone should remember to bring their flashlights.

    3) If you visit a house where a stranger resides, accept treats at the door. Remember, please do not go inside.

    [Image by MSVG]

    4) When you get ready to put on your disguise, use face paint instead of masks, which will cover your eyes.

    5) Always remember, before you embark, to wear light-colored clothing to be seen in the dark. (Remember to use reflective tape, even on bikes, brooms, and the edges of your cape!)

    6) Whether you walk, slither, or sneak, do it on the sidewalks and not in the street.

    [Image by Esteemedhelga]

    7) As you roam through the neighborhood collecting your treats, please look both ways before crossing the street. (Speaking of streets: The corners are the place for trick-or-treaters to cross, no matter their pace.)

    8) Wigs, capes, and costumes are flammable attire, so avoid open flames to prevent a fire.

    9) Use a glow stick instead of a candle so your jack-o-lantern isn’t a safety gamble.

    [Image by freeloosedirt]

    10) You may fly on a broom or a space ship from Mars, but please be on the lookout for drivers in cars. (Between parked cars is no place to hide - be sure that you’re seen whether you’re a clown or a bride.)

    11) Monsters and zombies should stay off the lawn and only visit homes with their porch lights turned on.

    12) You may be dressed as a werewolf, a cat, or a frog, but be cautious around strange animals - especially dogs.

    13) Have a grownup inspect your candy when you’re done trick-or-treating to remove open packages and choking hazards before eating.

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    What Halloween safety tips do you instruct your children to follow? What are your trick-or-treat plans for this year? We’d love to know!

    [The first valid 25 comments to this post on Blog.CookiesKids.com will be emailed an exclusive CookiesKids.com gift certificate!]

     

  6. Halloween Costume Headquarters!

    Boo! Here’s something to spook you - Halloween costumes so budget-friendly, it’s scary! 

    Bring on over your lil’ Buzz Lightyear, Optimus Prime, Hannah Montana, or Disney Princess for some great holiday savings at our Halloween Costume Headquarters. 

    Boys Costumes: Shop Infant // Shop 2T - 4T // Shop 4 - 7  // Shop 8 - 20 

       

    Girls Costumes: Shop Infant // Shop 2T - 4T // Shop 4 - 6X // Shop 7 - 16