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Moms Council: Halloween Safety

Local moms discuss when and where they allow their children to participate in Halloween festivities.

Hello and welcome to this week's Fredericksburg Patch Moms Council, an online forum of ordinary mothers just trying their best to raise their children. The Moms Council will take your questions, share advice and offer solutions every Wednesday at 1 p.m. This week's topic is keeping Halloween fun and safe.

From candy to parades, what Halloween festivities do your children participate in? When I was a kid, my school had contests for best costume and a parade. But now I hear schools are scaling back on costumes and doing away with Halloween parties. In your opinion, is this for religious, allergy concerns or economic reasons?  

When and where are you allowing your children to trick-or-treat? Will you allow them to go door-to-door? Will you take them to a community-run function? Does your church or community participate in Truck-o-Treat or will you take them to the mall? How will you monitor who gives your children candy?  

Since many communities don’t have sidewalks or adequate lighting, how do you protect your children while trick-or-treating? Do you forbid them from wearing dark costumes, masks that obscure their vision, costumes that pose tripping hazards? What do you do to ensure your children are seen? Do you put reflective tape on their costumes or have them carry a light stick or flashlight?

If you allow your children to dress for Halloween, will they wear a store bought or homemade costume? Share with us in the comment area, what will your children be for Halloween this year.   

Join the discussion -- we want to hear from you! Share with us in the comment area your opinions on Halloween. Keeping our children safe is our everyday number one priority but this once traditional “holiday” seems to be putting us all on heightened alert. How are you managing to allow your children to have fun while keeping your cool? For more information about the format, and an introduction to our Mom's Council, read our intro post .

Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Do you plan to take your children to any community run events? Such as, Truck-o-Treat at a church or to the mall?
Sharee October 26, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Not sure what's the weekend -- haven't looked at the events scheduled. We know we'll be doing the neighborhood on Halloween night... But would be interested in other stuff over the weekend...
Sharee October 26, 2011 at 05:28 PM
As for the schools.... When I taught it wasn't done to have them dress in Halloween costumes or do anything Halloween because of religion objections... We'd do a pumpkin unit (how plants grow from a seed, needs of a plant, etc) and/or bat unit (nocturnal animals) instead with a Fall party on Halloween... I heard some schools are now allowing costumes, so that may be changing... As for allergies and parties, schools don't allow any home-baked stuff... It all has to be store bought with the ingredient label. And teachers are usually good about making parents knowledgable about allergies in the classroom so certain foods can be avoided. In fact, I would usually just ask for specific items to avoid getting food that kids couldn't eat.
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 05:34 PM
There are lots of events this weekend that will keep the kiddos of all ages safe and entertained. I definitely plan to check out the Fredericksburg Fall Family Festival at the SpotsylvaniaTowne Centre on October 30 from 3pm - 6pm. I may also check out Halloween Hoopla at the Library on Friday. We also have a couple of costume parties with friends.
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Where my mom teaches (in FL) the children do an alphabet parade and dress up in costume based on the letter of their choosing. They don't do "Halloweeen" because of religious reasons.
Sharee October 26, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Thx for the info :)
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Its supposed to be cold on Halloween!!! How do you bundle up your ghosts and goblins without covering up their costumes?
Leigha Pecher October 26, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Since my kids are young, we only take them on our street, which is pretty big. They've never lasted longer, nor wanted to. Luke prefers to hand out candy with me. However, this year, my father in law will be visiting, so the 4 of us can actually go out together as a family. We live in a pretty safe neighborhood, so I'm not too worried. However, we will STILL go through all their candy first....just as I remember my own parents doing.
Leigha Pecher October 26, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Also, each year, I remember seeing the local PD doing slow drive bys throughout the neighborhood, which is great!
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Is trick-or-treating in Spotsy/Fred on Monday? How do you know which neighbors are handing out treats?
Leigha Pecher October 26, 2011 at 05:45 PM
I'd like to know, though it's a bit off topic, how much do people spend on halloween candy??? i just spent over $20 today although I know my hubby will prob make me go get more. But, sheesh! It's expensive!
Veronica October 26, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Since both my boys are pretty young we only go to a few houses in our neighborhood. I agree with Sharee~ no homemade treats or fruit~ unless it was from someone we knew well.
Veronica October 26, 2011 at 05:47 PM
We walk with them and they also have lanterns this year to carry with them.
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 05:49 PM
We don't spend nearly that much but we probably only get 30 kids before we turn off our lights. And, I don't buy candy per se I hand out individual packs of pretzels, gummy snack packets, stickers and pencils.
Veronica October 26, 2011 at 05:49 PM
Tyler is dressing up as Iron Man and we are giving our youngest son a choice between Buzz Lightyear, Elmo, Winnie the Pooh or a Giraffe since we already have those costumes. He doesn't quite understand the Hallowe'en tradition completely yet ;-)
Leigha Pecher October 26, 2011 at 05:50 PM
OH and we also use glow necklaces and sticks in the treat bags. :) And daddy usually has a flashlight.
Lori DePue October 26, 2011 at 05:50 PM
We are trick or treating in our subdivision with our neighbors, we will probably only have to do 2 culdesacs because they are all still little!
Veronica October 26, 2011 at 05:50 PM
We haven't tried it since last year both my boys had pneumonia for Halloween. We used to go to the Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo in Michigan and LOVED it!
Lori DePue October 26, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Patrick is wolverine, Mason is Captain America and Alyssa is Rapunzel! They all requested them. Wolverine was hard to find we ordered online!
Lori DePue October 26, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Mine will only be out about an hour, so we just bundle them under their costumes with sweatpants and sweatshirts!
Lori DePue October 26, 2011 at 05:55 PM
We do pumpkin carving and painting, let them wear their costumes alot in the house and they have a halloween party at school the day of halloween, then trick or treating that night!
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 05:55 PM
My son is dressing as chunky Winnie-the-Pooh. He says, "Oh Bother" and will be carrying a "Hunny" pot made specially for the occasion by this Mimi!
Leigha Pecher October 26, 2011 at 05:55 PM
I usually have my kids wear their PJs underneath their costumes if it's cold....that way, they can head right to bed :)
Veronica October 26, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Every year I also buy little toy gifts and healthier treats to 'trade out' for the candy Tyler has received since he is sensitive to dyes and chocolate. When he was younger it was very easy to simply do the switcheroo . This year we had a talk about it and he's excited to switch the candy. In Michigan the local dentists were 'buying' children's candy (paying them for it) to 'protect' their teeth and health. It was actually very successful and kids interviewed said they would rather have a few dollars than a bunch of candy. ha
Leigha Pecher October 26, 2011 at 05:57 PM
My boys are, of course, super heroes....we got Luke's costume on clearance last year!! Andy and I will also be superheroes! :)
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 06:11 PM
We may try to go to IHOP for their kids eat free scary pancake on Friday too! Its from 7am-10pm.
Leigha Pecher October 26, 2011 at 06:16 PM
LOVE that dentist's way of thinking! :)
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Does anyone know of any dentists in the Fredericksburg-area that offer to buy candy?
Nikki Ducas October 26, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Thanks for joining me today. Keep the kiddos safe and healthy. Happy Halloween! Please feel free to continue to comment amongst yourselves; this momma has to wake her son to get a flu shot! Wish me luck!
cindy October 28, 2011 at 09:16 AM
when is trick or treating in spotsy and fredericksburg?

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