Every Halloween night, a chill fills the air as little ghouls and ghosts take to the streets for a night of Trick-or-Treating. Halloween is a time for frights and fun, but is also a time when parents and children should focus on safety.
Tips for a safe Halloween
Remember to follow these safety tips to help ensure you and your “Trick-or-Treaters” have a safe and enjoyable experience this year:
- Wear bright clothing or reflective gear; Carry a flashlight if out after dark;
- Know the route that your children will be taking if you aren’t going with them;
- Younger children should go with adults: at least a 4:1 ratio is preferable;
- If possible, give your kids a cell phone and check in with them at specified intervals;
- Have an understood time for everyone to be home;
- Explain the difference between a “trick” and “vandalism.” This is also another good opportunity to discuss peer pressure. More often than not, kids participate in acts that they know are wrong because a “friend” led the way.
October is Fire Prevention Month and the American Red Cross is encouraging people to take steps to lessen the risk of a fire in their home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are between 350,000 and 400,000 house fires in the United States every year. Home fires are the biggest disaster threat to families in this country, above floods and hurricanes.
That’s why the American Red Cross is encouraging people to remember two key fire safety steps: installing smoke alarms and developing a fire escape plan.
“The Red Cross responded to more than 62,960 home fires in fiscal year 2011,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “Fires strike suddenly and spread quickly. It’s important to take simple steps now to protect the members of your household. During a fire, every second counts and being prepared can greatly reduce the effects of these devastating disasters.”
It is recommended that people check each smoke alarm in their home by pushing the test button at least once a month and replacing batteries every year, or as needed. Fire escape plans should include at least two escape routes from every room in the home and a convenient meeting place at a safe distance from the home. Practice the escape plan at least twice a year and revise as necessary. Families are encouraged to pay particular attention to developing and regularly practicing escape plans for children and older adults.
Additional recommendations include:
- Keep matches and lighters away from and out of reach of children.
- Don’t leave the kitchen, and don’t leave the home while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food.
- Once you are out, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor’s home.
During Fire Prevention Month, visit www.redcross.org for more steps people can take to lessen the chance of a fire in their home.
On July 4, 1776, Americans claimed our independence from Britain and Democracy was born. Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the “land of the free and the home of the brave” so they can begin their American Dream.
The United States is truly a diverse nation made up of dynamic people. Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics, and family gatherings. Through the Internet we are learning about and communicating with people of different nations, with different languages and different races throughout the world. Bringing the world closer with understanding and knowledge can only benefit all nations.
Au Pair in America is dedicated to cultural exchange and hopes all our host families and au pairs are celebrating this truly American holiday together! Enjoy your barbeques, picnics, and all the fireworks!
Click for a schedule of fireworks.