Halloween Safety Tips

The candy bowls are full, the Jack-o-Lanterns are carved and your children have been wearing their costumes around the house in anticipation. However, before your children take to the neighborhood on October 31, it’s important you proceed with the proper safety precautions to ensure everyone has a great time while scaring up some fun. Here are a few helpful Halloween safety tips for both parents and chPumpkinsildren alike.

Costume Caution

As much as possible, encourage bright or light colored costumes. However, if your children like to take the scare factor to a whole new level by donning costumes fit for a horror movie set, there are ways to make even the most frightening frocks safer. While it might be difficult to convince your son of the need to brighten up his Batman costume for fear of “totally ruining it,” try adding reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape to the bottom of dark costumes and candy bags. Carrying flashlights and glow sticks can also make dark costumes more visible to drivers while not taking too much away from the costume.

‘One size fits all’ might work for the manufacturer, but such store-bought costumes are often far from that. Make sure your child tries on the costume with whatever footwear they intend to pair it with. Pay special attention to the costume’s length, and make sure it is the right size, as a costume that is too long could more easily result in trips and falls.

Masks can make it difficult to see and can hamper your child’s peripheral vision. Nontoxic face paint or make-up are better options, but start by testing a small amount your child’s arm beforehand to check for any possible reaction.

Safekids.org recommends that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by an adult. While chaperoning the group’s movement from house to house, make certain everyone remains on the sidewalks at all times and cross the street at crosswalks whenever possible. If a street does not have a sidewalk, always walk along the left side watching forward for any oncoming cars.

And if you’re children are old enough to venture out on their own, it’s best to remind them of these trick-or-treating rules. It is also a good idea to have them carry a fully charged cellphone and stick to familiar, well-lit neighborhoods.

Drivers, remember the popular trick-or-treating times are between 5:30 and 9:30 pm. Proceed with caution and keep an eye out for children, especially in neighborhoods, when out on the roads.

Rules of the Road

Safekids.org recommends that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by an adult. While chaperoning the group’s movement from house to house, make certain everyone remains on the sidewalks at all times and cross the street at crosswalks whenever possible. If a street does not have a sidewalk, always walk along the left side watching forward for any oncoming cars.

And if you’re children are old enough to venture out on their own, it’s best to remind them of these trick-or-treating rules. It is also a good idea to have them carry a fully charged cellphone and stick to familiar, well-lit neighborhoods.

Drivers, remember the popular trick-or-treating times are between 5:30 and 9:30 pm. Proceed with caution and keep an eye out for children, especially in neighborhoods, when out on the roads.

Candy Collecting

The Food and Drug Administration suggests giving your children a light meal before heading out. This can help prevent hunger, and cut down on the temptation to snack while trick-or-treating. This is especially helpful for parents as it provides you an opportunity to inspect your children’s candy after getting back home.

When checking your child’s candy collection, be on the lookout for homemade goods and any suspicious wrapping. A good rule of thumb is to stick with only candy or sweets found in commercially wrapped packaging.

Whether you will be out trick-or-treating with your children or on your way home from work, just remember to keep these safety tips in mind on Halloween night. We hope everyone has a safe and very Happy Halloween!

Get your youngsters on the road to Saving!

Fillup the Frog helps teach financial literacyWe’re joining institutions across the country that are observing America Saves Week, a national campaign that encourages individuals and families to save money, reduce debt and build personal wealth.

Here at Community Bank of the Chesapeake, we think that teaching youngsters to save is a great way to start them on their way to a lifelong habit of saving. That’s why we make it fun! Continue reading

Friday Focus: Toys for Tots

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for TotsEach year, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program works to brighten the lives of less fortunate children throughout the United States with its annual toy drive. From October to December, the organization works with local communities to accept donations of new toys to be distributed at Christmas time. Their mission is simple: to deliver a message of hope to one of the nation’s most valuable resources—its children. This week, Friday Focus talked with Staff Sergeant Brett Wagner, a coordinator from King George County, VA, who shared some information about the organization and one particularly special instance of how Toys for Tots was able to touch a family in need. Continue reading

Kids: Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween SafetyThe candy bowls are full, the Jack-o-Lanterns are carved and your children have been wearing their costumes around the house in anticipation. However, before your children take to the neighborhood on October 31, it’s important you proceed with the proper safety precautions to ensure everyone has a great time while scaring up some fun. Here are a few helpful Halloween safety tips for both parents and children alike.

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Kids: Chores — a routine part of family life

Kid's ChoresWhether they involve adults, children, or both, chores are a routine part of family life. For youngsters, chores are typically part of a reward system involving some type of compensation. But, chores don’t always have to be compensated – parents should take comfort knowing with chores comes a sense of belonging, satisfaction, self-esteem and responsibility.

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Raising Compassionate Kids

Raising Compassionate KidsCompassion isn’t something we’re born with. It’s learned. And it’s something parents can — and should — teach their kids. You can do it by example. Through conversation. Through experience.

While instilling a sense of compassion in a youngster by being a shining example is admirable, there’s much more to it than that! It’s not enough to just be a compassionate, caring person yourself. You have to help your kids develop empathy, kindness, caring and a sense of responsibility toward others, say the experts at Parenting.com. They suggest steps such as setting rules and expectations, enforcing limits, providing structure, encouraging friendships and setting high standards, among others.

Here are 11 other things you can do to raise a truly caring and compassionate child, from Parents Magazine. And 13 more tips, from Scholastic.com.

Jim Taylor, Ph.D also stresses that children aren’t likely to learn compassion on their own. In his piece for Psychology Today, he says parents have to nurture that “caring for others” trait in a child’s early years, so they will come to “realize its value and embrace it as their own.” The author is also convinced that compassion is contagious, and advises surrounding your family with compassionate people.

Why generate compassion in your children? A simple answer – it could be a key to help them enjoy life by becoming “more deeply attached” to family, friends, and others around them.

Unfortunately, Everydayfamily.com cites an MSNBC special indicating that today’s young adults – high school and college students – are less likely to “get” the emotions of others, citing a more competitive society in which today’s parents are raising children compared to people of the same age group 30 to 40 years ago.

There seems to be no question that, while building a child’s confidence and self-esteem is important, promoting a sense of caring and compassion is equally so.

Back-to-School Budgeting: Tips for Parents

Back-to-School Laura Edgar is a senior writer for NerdWallet.com, a personal finance website that helps people save money on financial products and everyday purchases.

Parents know all too well that back-to-school season is synonymous with spending money. To some extent, this is inevitable. Kids outgrow their old clothes, backpacks break, and your child’s teacher just might need some extra art supplies. With a little advanced planning and creativity, it’s easy to make back-to-school shopping simple and affordable. In fact, budgeting for back to school is a great opportunity to teach your kids financial literacy basics. Here are some helpful suggestions to help you and your child save money and start the school year off right.

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Need a babysitter? There’s an app for that!

Mom with BabyFinding a babysitter when you want one is always a gamble. Your regular sitter is either ready, willing and able — or has other plans. Your relatives— if you’re fortunate enough to have them nearby — are busy, too. Friends are reserved for emergencies only, and you’re leery of strangers.

Scheduling kid-free daytime appointments for yourself can really be a challenge too.

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