By Beth Kilchenman
American Red Cross
With witches, goblins and super heroes descending on neighborhoods across the country, the American Red Cross offers parents some safety tips to help prepare their children for a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat holiday.
Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment. Following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun:
o Walk, slither and sneak on sidewalks, not in the street.
o Look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks and low-flying brooms.
o Cross the street only at corners.
o Donâ€™t hide or cross the street between parked cars.
o Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible. And remember, put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards and brooms, too.
o Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go with you.
o Carry a flashlight to light your way.
o Keep away from open fires and candles. Costumes can be extremely flammable.
o Visit homes that have the porch light on.
o Accept your treats at the door and never go into a strangerâ€™s house.
o Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.
o Be cautious of animals and strangers.
o Have an adult inspect your treats before eating. And donâ€™t eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.
The holiday hustle is underway. No one feels the pinch from shopping, parties and preparation more than moms and dads.
Thatâ€™s why the Medina County Red Cross encourages families and caretakers to look for trained and certified babysitters for their child care needs.Â
Whether itâ€™s shopping for presents or the office holiday party, the demand for babysitters is sure to increase. But in order to feel more relaxed and secure, parents and caregivers need to have a sitter they know has been trained in how to care for the safety and well-being of their child.Â
Each year, the Red Cross trains and certifies more than 120,000 sitters nationwide through the babysitterâ€™s training program. Course participants learn to administer basic first aid; properly hold and feed a child; take emergency action when needed; monitor safe play and actively engage your child; and some may be certified in Infant and Child CPR.Â
Even if you only need someone to watch the children while you put up decorations or prepare a meal, you want peace of mind that your little ones are in capable hands. You should never just grab the first available person.Â
If you donâ€™t have a Red Cross trained babysitter near you and the office party is coming up, or if youâ€™re current sitter isnâ€™t certified, make an early gift to a youth you trust by giving him or her a certificate to the next babysitterâ€™s training class.
The Medina County Red Cross Babysitterâ€™s Training program is open to girls and boys 11 to 15 years old and can be completed in a day.
All courses are taught by an authorized Red Cross babysitterâ€™s training instructor.Â
Thereâ€™s no better way to relax and enjoy all the seasonâ€™s festivities than knowing your children are in the care of a sitter trained by the American Red Cross.
For information on how to sign up for a babysitterâ€™s training class, call the chapter at 330-723-4565 or 877-441-4565. Or, visit www.medinaredcross.org.Â
Kilchenman may be reached at 330-723-4565.