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Boo! Tricks and treats for a safe Halloween

By Amy Kossoff Smith
The Business of Motherhood
Apparently, Halloween has escaped the recession. According to Ad Age magazine, consumer spending is up this year ($6.9 billion), representing a $1.1 billion increase over last year. Now that’s a LOT of candy corn and ghosts and goblins!
However, as delicious and fun as this holiday can be, it could also be the perfect storm for accidents. It's dark, sometimes raining, and herds of children are sprinting between houses.

A recent Time Magazine report, "Is Trick-or-Treating Dangerous," discusses that while tainted candy has made the headlines at times, it's not as prevalent as we'd think. Caution, of course, is always recommended. But as Laura Fitzpatrick reports in that article, "The biggest Halloween danger of all is car accidents. Children are more than twice as likely to likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night than at any other time of the year, according to a study by Safe Kids USA. Such tragedies are often preventable. Parents can make sure that costumes aren't too long, shoes don't make a child prone to tripping and masks don't restrict their vision. And parents of young children should accompany them on the walk around the neighborhood to keep them safe."

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), Halloween is a busy time in the ER – tops on the list are finger/hand injuries including lacerations and fractures.

Here are some highlights of Halloween safety tips from The MomTini Lounge.

The AAOS shared some great tips on staying safe, including always having adults do the pumpkin carving with specially designed tools (kitchen knives can get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin). And, the AAOS suggests, "Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. Be sure the child's vision is unobstructed from masks, face paint or hats." And, the AAOS recommends, "Halloween costumes should be light and bright, so children are clearly visible to motorists and other pedestrians. Trim costumes and bags with reflective tape that glows in the dark. "

Camp Bow Wow's ( CEO Heidi Ganahl had some great reminders on keeping the family pet safe

including trying on costumes in advance to make sure they don't "spook" your pet and create aggressive behaviors. Ganahl suggests leaving your pet at home that night since candy (especially chocolate) can be toxic if accidentally consumed.

Here are some links to more tips and treats:

-Safety tips and easy do-it-yourself costumes _ including creating checkpoints to stay in touch, going "hands-free" with simple costumes and a backpack for Mom or Dad to carry extra waters, flashlights and candy overflow and where to find free "scary" pancakes before Halloween. See them at

-Dash Magazine's "Halloween Hub" has lots of great recipes, craft ideas, and easy Halloween party tips, and my favorite, "8 Leftover Halloween Candy Ideas" including dropping a candy bar in your morning coffee!

-Extreme face painting – wild video showing truly "extreme" ideas from "Extreme Face Painting Fiendish and Friendly." The book's spokesperson gave me some great ideas to pass along, including to use water-based, hypoallergenic, non-toxic (never acrylic) paints and to remove face paint with baby wipes, baby oil or eye make-up remover. Watch the video at

Also: The MomTini Lounge has a reader contest and gives away Mom-Tastic books and other fun Mom prizes. Go here to enter:


Amy Kossoff Smith, Founder of The MomTini Lounge, is a nationally recognized Mompreneur and owns, which is full of tips and tools for the business of motherhood. Available 24/7, just like Moms, the site has helped women around the world to manage the job of motherhood.

The Business of Motherhood.
Online at and
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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