[r85] Pond Report: On the Brink of Halloween (10/13/2010)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Start Date: 10/13/2010 All Day
End Date: 10/13/2010
We are on the brink of Halloween, and it is clear that kids' excitement for the holiday can barely be abated. According to the US Census Bureau in 2009 there were an estimated 36 million trick-or-treaters between the age of 5 and 13. While trick or treating is a popular and nostalgic tradition, remember to plan ahead for your evening and talk to your kids about safety.

Cities and towns in our area have established hours for trick-or-treating: Grabill and Leo-Cedarville are 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Woodburn is 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and New Haven is 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with special hours for trick or treating at downtown businesses between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

And before your little goblin heads out the door, make sure you give them a healthy meal, or they may make candy their dinner!

We all want to maximize candy-gathering time, but as tempting as it may be to run across the street to the next house, make sure that kids cross the street at corners, not in between cars.

Since it will be dusk as the kids go out for the holiday, try to choose a bright costume that can be easily seen by cars. Make sure that an adult is present, and tell your kids to never go into a stranger's home.

If you wish to welcome the princesses, witches, pumpkins, and other costumed kids that may be ringing your doorbell, turn your outside lights on. When purchasing candy to dole out, avoid small items that can potentially be a choking hazard.

Of course, the safety of our children is the main concern. but don't forget your pet on Halloween.

If you have a dog, consider bringing it inside or crating it for the evening. Many dogs become excited and anxious because of all the doorbells, visitors at the door and unfamiliar people dressed in costumes. Be sure, too, to keep Halloween candy away from animals.  If consumed, candy can be very dangerous for them.

Are you looking for a trick or treating alternative? I encourage you to visit Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is hosting "Wild Zoo Halloween" from Oct. 15 through Oct. 31. Kids will not only get to experience the zoo, but also partake in a costume contest, receive candy, and watch as animals snack on pumpkins. Tickets are $4 for adults and $8 for children. For more information, go to: http://www.kidszoo.org/events/halloween.htm.

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State Rep. Phyllis Pond (R-New Haven) represents portions of Allen and DeKalb counties.