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Friday, October 31, 2014

Keep Kids Safe on Hallowe'en

I remember weird things. I mean, I have a really good memory of very early events, but aside from that, odd or random interactions and events really seem to stick. Like, one Hallowe'en when I was maybe 10 (I was trick or treating without my mom, so I'm guessing on the age) a neighbour girl called me out for crossing the street on an angle. We'd been warned in school not to zigzag across the streets while trick or treating, but to do one side of the road first, then the other. I know she was coming from a good place, but I was still peeved. I had looked carefully before crossing, and I was just crossing once. It stuck with me, and I think of it every Hallowe'en.

toddler in bat costume Halloween
Yes, that's a harness. Safety first! Actually, I think it's a Safety First harness.
It kept a wiggly runner close to me on a busy and dark night fueled with sugar.
Safety is a big issue, with tons of kids roaming the streets in the dark on Hallowe'en night. Both drivers and trick-or-treaters need to be extra careful to ensure everyone gets home in one piece to enjoy their candy and maybe a spooky movie or two.

A national charity, Parachute is dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. They have teamed up with FedEx Canada to provide the Walk This Way pedestrian safety program year-round, providing education, resources and support for parents. On Halloween, they are urging all road users to drive with extra care so that all ghosts and goblins, as well as their parents and grandparents, will stay safe and sound this ghoulish night.  

“With it getting darker outside earlier, Halloween is a great time for parents and children to talk about pedestrian safety, especially when it comes to crossing the street,” says Louise Logan, Parachute’s President and CEO.  “Set a good example, practice with your children and make road safety part of your conversation.”

Child pedestrian incidents are a leading cause of death for Canadian children under age 14. More than 30 children are killed and 2,400 are seriously injured in a typical year. Most incidents happen between 3 and 6 p.m., when drivers are coming home from work and children are walking home from school or after-school activities.

Here are some tips from Parachute to help keep everyone safe this Hallowe'en:
  • An adult or responsible older child should accompany children under age nine, since they may lack the skills to cross the street on their own. 
  • Teach your child to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to listen for oncoming traffic. 
  • Select costumes with bright colours to increase your child’s visibility and choose face paint instead of masks. 
  • Always cross at crosswalks, street corners or intersections – it’s unsafe to cross between parked cars or other obstacles. 
  • Stay on the sidewalk when walking from house to house, and if there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you.
  • Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be trick-or-treating. 
  • Watch out for kids, many of whom will be wearing costumes that limit their vision. 
  • Reduce distractions, such as cellphones or loud music, and stay alert.
skeleton in pirate bandana Halloween
Have a safe and happy Hallowe'en!
Don't end up like this guy ...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Netflix Brings the Mystery This Hallowe'en #StreamTeam

Hallowe'en is just around the corner and the zombies, ghouls and goblins are lurking on every lawn. Are you looking forward to the big night? It's a pretty big deal around here, especially since it falls on Friday this year. How cool is it to be able to go trick or treating, then come home and enjoy your candy without having to rush through a shower and straight to bed? Weekend Hallowe'en is a pretty sweet deal.

We're taking advantage of this scheduling win with a Hallowe'en family movie night. While Hubs and I might be happy to put on a good horror flick, Boo is a little young for that. Sleeping in or not, we don't want to be dealing with nightmares! So after the trick or treating is done, and we've turned off the outside lights and snuffed the jack o'lantern candles, we'll be heading down to the man cave to turn on the Netflix. They have a good selection of family-friendly films to bring a little mystery and intrigue to this spooky night.

Our choice for Friday? "Hotel Transylvania." We haven't seen this one yet, which is a little nuts, and it seems perfect for Hallowe'en viewing. It has Dracula as an overprotective father fussing over his teenaged daughter and an unwelcome suitor. Monster family fun! And have you seen the list of voice talent? Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Kevin James, Jon Lovitz, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Molly Shannon, Chris Parnell, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Cee-Lo Green. Wow.  This should be the perfect monster flick for our family.

If your crew are more into the mystery than the monsters, Netflix has suggestions for you as well!

Mysterious Titles for the Big Kids:


And for the Younger Set:

4. I Spy

Do you have plans for Friday night?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam program, and receive special perks as part of my involvement. I was not financially compensated for this post. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Tricks and Treats for Healthy Teeth, from Arm & Hammer

Halloween images, Jack o'lanterns, zombies
Halloween candy
One kid does not need this much

Hallowe'en is almost here!! Squee!! This holiday is second only to Christmas for me. Scary movies, haunted houses, costumes, carving pumpkins, I love it all.  We decorated this past weekend, which is a little late for us, but life is busy. Boo was stoked to put out our headstones and hang our ghosts. And he can't wait until Friday to don his Ninja costume for his Hallowe'en party at school, then run home for our traditional, quick & easy pizza delivery dinner before hitting the streets for trick or treating.

Our tradition is that Daddy stays home and hands out the goodies, while Mommy and Boo do the neighbourhood rounds. Some years it's been mild, others it's been cold and rainy. But every year we have a great time, seeing the other kids in costume, chatting with neighbours, and bumping into his friends from school. I think that's my favourite part. The social bit. We often end the evening on a friend's front porch for a chat and a rest before heading home to count the loot and get ready for bed.

Do your kids sample their Hallowe'en treats that night? Boo does for sure. I think it's an important part of the fun. We dump his bag and sort it out, just like my brother and I did when we were little, and he can pick a couple of sweets to have before bed, which is something he normally would not be allowed. Candy at bedtime? Nuh-uh . This year will be interesting, since Hallowe'en falls on a Friday. Since he doesn't have to go to school the next day we may pick out a few extra to enjoy while we watch a movie.

Needless to say - we make extra sure he brushes his teeth before bed after sampling his sweet and sticky candy treats! Unless you're keen on toothaches and dentist bills, Hallowe'en is a pretty important time for excellent brushing habits.

Orajel, Oral-B, Brush Your Teeth, #spon

Do your kids balk at brushing their teeth? We all know this is a non-negotiable, so having the right tools to entice the wee ones is a great help. Every parent needs a few tricks up their sleeve to ensure cooperation.

Our little Mario fan is fond of the new Arm & Hammer™ Spinbrush™ Super Mario Bros™ Toothbrush line, which lets kids brush their teeth with their favourite Super Mario character. Of course, with any kids brush, it’s important that the design works for their unique needs, so look for a toothbrush that is designed with a smaller brush head (best for smaller mouths) and a brush head that helps remove plaque and massage gums. Battery powered toothbrushes are a great option for kids, because they add a fun factor and make tooth brushing time more efficient.

If your little one isn't ready yet for a battery-powered brush, try new Orajel™ Bubble Guppies™ Kids Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste Gel and Manual Toothbrush. These are the perfect tools to help transition kids from fluoride-free to fruity fluoride toothpaste, while using characters from the hit television show Bubble Guppies. Preschoolers love the Bubble Guppies! Bonus - the manual toothbrush’s coloured bristle guide easily shows children where to place their toothpaste, while the soft bristles are gentle on young teeth and gums. Plus the handle provides a comfortable grip for little hands. Remember - children under the age of three should always be supervised by an adult when brushing.

And if you find yourself dipping into the treats a few too many times, Orajel™ has what you need to make sure your sweet tooth doesn't cause you pain. With Orajel™ Maximum Strength Toothache Pain Relief Gel, you can enjoy sweets and know that if a stubborn toothache happens as a result, you will be able to get instant relief. Whew!

So, enjoy the sweet and scary wonders of Hallowe'en, and don't forget to look after those pearly whites too!

For more information on the full line of dental care from Arm & Hammer, please visit

Disclosure: I am a member of the Church & Dwight Ambassador Program, and as such receive special perks, products, and other compensation for my participation. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.
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