Halloween Tips...

Cleaning up: 
A couple of reminders: it's a good thing to clean up your yard and take care of hazards before the little ones invade. Below, some early clip-and-save tips for the holiday coming up Tuesday!

Halloween tips for homeowners: 
1. Clear the yard. Be sure to look out for things such as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip trick-or-treaters. Also check for low tree limbs, support wires and hard-to-see fences between yards.

2. Be careful with candles. Opt for a plug-in or battery-powered jack-o-lantern instead of using a live candle. If you insist on a live flame, make sure it is away from any possible exposure to trick-or-treaters' costumes, or where they will be walking or standing.

3. Secure your pets. Be sure your pets are put away or arrange for them to stay somewhere else. Some pets become frightened; others may become territorial or even aggressive towards trick-or-treaters.

4. Light the path. Be sure the path and stairs to your front door are well illuminated and clear of obstacles. While it's tempting to create a dark and spooky home theme, poor lighting can be a major safety hazard.

5. Consider some healthier treat options, like low-fat crackers, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls or raisins; or non-food treats such as (unsharpened) pencils, stickers or coins.

10 safety tips for Halloween costumes: 
   (source: www.angieslist.com): 
1. Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes. Avoid loose hanging parts such as sashes, shredded parts or overly long sleeves, which can easily catch fire from a jack-o-lantern or candle or get caught on something.

2. Costumes should be loose, so warm clothes can be worn underneath without restricting arm or leg movement.

3. Costumes that are too long and oversized shoes are tripping hazards. Avoid both.

4. Test any new makeup products in a small area of the inside of the arm to prevent reactions from latex or other adhesive allergies.

5. Consider hair-coloring products as an alternative to wigs. Check the product for information on washing and any concerns for dyed or chemically treated hair.

6. Outfits should be made with light-colored materials. Strips of reflective tape should be used to make children more visible.

7. Attach your child's name, address and telephone number (including their area code) to his or her clothes in case your child gets lost or separated from you.

8. If masks are worn, be sure holes for the eyes, nose and mouth are large enough for comfort and not restrictive.

9. Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.

10. Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if trick-or-treaters are allowed out after dark. In addition, carry a glow stick or flashlight.

Trick or Treating with your children: 
Nearly 94 percent of children between the ages of four and 12 participate in Halloween activities each year. Some additional common sense tips for trick-or-treaters from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
   --Plan a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets. Avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods, streets that are isolated, or homes that are poorly lit inside or outside.
   --Never send young children out alone. They should always be accompanied by a parent or another trusted adult. Older children should always travel in groups.

   --Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats and don't let children enter a home unless you are with them.
   --Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.

   --Discuss basic pedestrian safety rules that children should use when walking to and from houses.
   --Make sure children know their home phone number and address in case you get separated. Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.

   --Teach children to say "NO!" or "this is not my mother/father" in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them. And teach them that they should make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and resisting.
   --Remind children to remain alert and report suspicious incidents to parents and/or law enforcement.

Top 10 most-Googled Halloween Costumes for 2017, from Teen Vogue:
   10. Dinosaur
   9. Zombie
   8. Pirate
   7. Mouse
   6. Witch
   5. Rabbit
   4. Unicorn
   3. Clown (of the Pennywise “It” variety)
   2. Harley Quinn
   1. Wonder Woman, thanks to GAL GADOT’S turn as the iconic superhero