Gone are the days of pumpkin and bee costumes. Now, the bloodier the disguise, the better. And your kids would much rather trick-or-treat sans parents. Manage your cool ghoul-without being a witch:
If the costume sounds too gory to you, it probably is. Disgusting outfits aren't appropriate for school functions or for younger kids, says Garry Gardner, M.D., chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics's Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. Think of a compromise: Maybe your bloody mummy can be just a mummy, for instance.
Kids under age 10 need some sort of supervision. Yes, you can hang waaay back or send your younger guy out with a teenage sibling. But he'll need a watchful eye when crossing streets. "So many injuries occur every year from kids darting across dark roads," says Dr. Gardner. Put reflective tape on his costume so he's more visible to drivers.
Make sure older children stay in touch. Send your kid out with a cell phone and ask her to call or text you at regular intervals with where-I-am updates (this spares her embarrassing calls from you). Also, set parameters-which areas of your neighborhood are off-limits-as well as the time you expect her home.
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