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Family & Pets

Dr. Rebecca Bailey’s Tips For A Safe Halloween

October 24, 2013 6:00 AM

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(Photo credit: Simon and Schuster)

(Photo credit: Simon and Schuster)

Rebecca Bailey, PhD, is a leading family psychologist and personal therapist. She is a graduate of the Wright Institute, has worked as the director of her local police department’s youth and family services program and is the founder of the Innovative Transitioning Families program. She has been interviewed by Diane Sawyer, Chris Cuomo, and Piers Morgan and has appeared on Good Morning America.

Elizabeth Bailey, RN BC, is a board certified psychiatric registered nurse and a graduate of Hampshire College and Santa Monica College. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.

The two are co-authors of the recent book Safe Kids, Smart Parents: What Parents Need to Know To Keep Their Children Safe, which was published recently by Simon & Schuster, a CBS Company.

Related: The Art To Carving The Best Pumpkin

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

Halloween can be a magical time! Creativity abounds with costumes, haunted houses, parties and all types of decorations. Halloween can also be overwhelming and a little scary for kids. The trend is for more and more adults to dress up, have Halloween parties and partake in the festivities. Some adults may take this opportunity to look crazy and to act crazy too, which can be confusing and unsettling for children. All of the excitement surrounding Halloween certainly creates some special circumstances related to safety, so here are some thoughts on the holiday, and tips to keep your child safe.

  • Halloween can be scary. Talk to your kids about it!
  • Teach kids to be aware. Glance up, look around you and make a note of what’s going on! Be Smart, Be Wise and Pay Attention. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Be alert!
  • Trick or Treat in a neighborhood known to you.
  • Be sure that there is a responsible adult supervising young trick-or-treaters. The kids need to agree to stay together. Do not let kids “run ahead” to get to the next house. This can be difficult because everyone is excited but this should be a non -negotiable rule.
  • Agree that your kids may not go into a home, or get into a car unless you are with them!
  • Always be conscious of safety around cars! Trick-or-treaters in all black costumes can’t be seen. Kids with masks on may not have full visibility. Cross streets as a group and only at crosswalks and if you have driveways in your neighborhood be aware of cars turning into, or backing out.
  • Plan the route ahead of time. Older kids should let parents or caregivers exactly where they are going.
  • Older kids should agree not to go alone. They should tell parents or caregivers who they are with and how they can be reached. Your child must give you a cell phone number and the person with the cell phone should agree to answer it!!
  • All kids should know how to reach you in case they are separated from the group. Be sure that younger kids know your name (or caregivers’ name) and be sure all kids know how to call 911 for help.
  • You cannot judge by looks. You really can’t tell who people are by how they look. Especially at Halloween! Creepy, icky people don’t all have scraggly hair, toothless smiles and long raincoats. And people with scraggly hair and missing teeth are usually pretty nice…At Halloween this is even more true. You just don’t know because many people are trying to look creepy and scary intentionally when they really aren’t at all.
  • Most of all tell them you love them!

Related: Best Halloween Costume Ideas


Countdown To Halloween with Halloween Express

Rebecca Bailey, PhD, is a leading family psychologist and personal therapist. She is a graduate of the Wright Institute, has worked as the director of her local police department’s youth and family services program and is the founder of the Innovative Transitioning Families program. She has been interviewed by Diane Sawyer, Chris Cuomo, and Piers Morgan and has appeared on Good Morning America.

Elizabeth Bailey, RN BC, is a board certified psychiatric registered nurse and a graduate of Hampshire College and Santa Monica College. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.

The two are co-authors of the recent book Safe Kids, Smart Parents: What Parents Need to Know To Keep Their Children Safe, which was published recently by Simon & Schuster, a CBS Company.

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