Halloween Safety Tips

It’s the most “spooktacular” time of the year. That annual ritual when young pirates, princesses, superheroes, mermaids, and other characters venture out into the streets to collect tasty treats from friends and neighbors. But while Halloween can bring joy and excitement to children, it can bring worries to parents about their children’s safety. Here are some simple tips to ensure your child enjoys the treats of the season — and stays safe.Halloween Safety

 

Food Safety:

  • Instruct your children to eat only factory wrapped candy or treats from people they know and trust.
  • Carefully examine all the candy and treats for any signs of tampering.
  • Read the labels on all candy packaging. This is especially important to parents whose children have dangerous food and other allergies.

Costume Safety:

  • Ensure costumes are flame retardant.
  • Do not have your children wear masks or other equipment that obstructs their vision.
  • Before applying makeup, be sure to test it on a small section of your child’s skin to prevent an allergic reaction.
  • Ensure your child’s costume is not too long, which could cause them to trip or fall.
  • Choose comfortable shoes, such as sneakers. While princess heels may look great, they may cause your child to fall or experience foot pain.
  • Make sure your costumes are bright or reflective. Or, purchase reflective tape that can be adhered to any costume.

Road Safety:

  • Make sure young children are always accompanied by an adult.
  • Have children carry flashlights so that they can see and be seen.
  • Keep children on sidewalks and instruct them to walk not run.

General Safety:

  • Adhere to the trick-or-treat hours your city or town has established.
  • Instruct children to stay away from candles and lighted jack-o-lanterns or other decorations that use fire.
  • Teach children not to enter any houses without being accompanied by a trusted adult.
  • Ensure children only go to houses of people they know.
  • If a house is dark, instruct children to stay away.

Home Safety

If you plan on handing out treats, here are some safety rules to ensure the safety of trick or treaters who visit you.

  • Turn on outside lights and make a clear path so young visitors can see where they are going.
  • Choose healthier, lower calorie snacks.
  • Limit the amount of snacks you provide to your young guests.
  • Turn out your lights when trick or treating has ended in your city or town or when you run out of candy.

Treat yourself to more safety tips.

For more helpful tips on keeping children safe, visit the Center for Disease Control or the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Inexpensive Ways to Keep the Kids Busy This Summer

Summer break is an ideal opportunity to spend quality time with kids, get a respite from homework helping, and maybe even sleep a little later in the Schools outmornings. Of course, summer vacation does come with one challenge — finding affordable ways to keep your children occupied and avoid that dreaded, but all-too-common phrase: “I’m bored.”

If your children aren’t enrolled in summer camp or sporting activities, you may be struggling to find affordable ways to keep them occupied. Rest assured, there are some fun activities you can do with your kids that are easy on your budget, including:

Summer picnics. A picnic in the park is a great way to connect with your children and enjoy the great outdoors. Pack some sandwiches and snacks and bring along a Frisbee and other outdoor equipment to ensure you and your kids get exercise together.

Take in a free summer concert. Your community may offer free concerts in the park. Take the kids along with a blanket and some snacks to enjoy free entertainment.

Head to the beach. You don’t have to spend an expensive day at a water park to stay refreshed. A day at the beach or lake is a great way to keep your kids busy. If you can, bring along other families and friends and encourage kids to play in the sand and water or to participate in a game of football or volleyball.

Go berry picking. You’ll get your kids outside and have tasty and healthy treats for them to enjoy.

Have a backyard campfire. If you can’t afford to spend money on a campsite, turn your backyard into one. Have a fire and bring some marshmallows to toast. Sitting around a fire is a great way for your family to talk and connect without technology.

Go fishing. Fishing is a relaxing and quiet activity that kids enjoy.

Visit free museums and libraries. Many museums offer discounted or free admissions during the summer.

Have a lemonade stand. You’ll not only teach your kids about business, but also will give them a fun activity they can enjoy. Have them deposit the money earned into their savings account; they’ll learn about the importance of saving!

Play games. Make every day a family game day. Set aside an hour or so a day to play card or board games with your kids.

Go for a bike ride. Many communities offer bike trails that make family biking fun and safe.

If you can get creative with your activities and make a schedule for your kids, you’ll help keep them busy and give them a summer they will remember for years to come.

 

Financial Literacy for Kids

As Financial Literacy Month continues, remember that financial education isn’t just for adults. Educating children about the importance of financial Financial Literacyresponsibility is extremely important, and it’s never too early to start teaching your youngsters about money.

Children as young as three to five years old can grasp the basic concepts of money and what it means to use money responsibly. Taking the time to talk with your children about financial matters, giving them an allowance to teach proper spending and savings habits and modelling good financial behaviors are just a few things you can do to help encourage financial literacy.

Community Bank of the Chesapeake wants to help you give your child the tools to be smart about money as they grow into young adults. That’s why we started our Green Team! The Green Team is open to all children age 12 and under who have a Kids’ Club savings account. With the help of our mascot, Fillup the Frog, your child will learn all about money and the importance of saving for the future. Members of our Green Team receive a special membership card, a free Fillup the Frog bank, a savings passbook and a subscription to the Green Team newsletter, “The Ribbiting News”. They’ll also receive a card on their birthday, along with gifts for reaching saving milestones.

In addition, there are many online resources devoted to teaching kids about money and helping them develop basic money management skills:

The Mint: Kids can learn a lot at this interactive site, like the basics of saving money and simple savings tricks. There’s even a “Truth About Millionaires” quiz that the whole family will enjoy, as well as tips for adults about teaching kids about money.

MyMoney.gov: This site offers something for everyone from toddlers to teens including games, activities, websites and video games.

Money As You Grow: Whatever your child’s age, you’ll find activities and milestones to help you guide your children along the way to financial responsibility.

 

 

Talking to Your Child About Money

Money can be a difficult—and in some cases, almost taboo—topic to discuss wHappy familyith your children, but as a parent, it’s important that you help your children and teenagers develop good financial habits that they can carry with them into adult life.

Here are a few ideas to help get your children thinking about smart saving and spending habits:

Young children

It is never too early to start helping your child develop a healthy respect for money and to help them develop some good financial habits. The practice of using an allowance can be worthwhile if it does the right things.  To teach your youngsters the basics, try the following:

  • Set a weekly allowance to match the age of the child – a five year old gets $5.00.
  • Tie the allowance to some required chores, like setting the table for dinner or keeping their bedroom clean.
  • Divide the allowance into three spending categories: 1/3 for immediate spending, 1/3 saved for some specific near-term purchase (like a small new toy) and 1/3 for a longer-term goal (like a major new toy).

Teenagers

This is often the most difficult time for children to deal with financial issues.  Peer pressure, a desire to have what friends have and the growing realization that they cannot have everything they want and do everything they want can add tension to any conversation about finances.  It is also the time when children can start understanding more involved financial issues and when financial habits are formed.

The allowance approach gets more complicated for teenagers, as the costs of items they want goes up and they are doing more things that cost money.  Now could be the time to discuss how a job could help them afford the things they want.  After-school and summer jobs are an ideal way for children to learn that money is earned, and not something that mom or dad will always provide.  A job can also teach children about responsibility since their employer will be relying on them to be present and punctual.  If an outside job is not possible, consider paying them an hourly rate for more chores and insist they treat it as a job.

Helping your child establish a checking account, or even prepare his or her own tax return will go a long way to helping them understand that money is a serious matter and that someday they responsible for their own financial decisions.  If your child gets a checking account, be sure you teach them how it works and that they must reconcile their account every month.

Keep the conversation going

Be open to discussing finances with your children.  Children are naturally curious about what they see their parents doing and you can turn that curiosity into teaching opportunities.  The conversations must certainly be age appropriate, but when your child sees you writing checks, it’s an ideal time to start talking about the importance of paying bills and balancing your budget.  A question about what it means when the TV news tells what the stock market did can lead to a more serious discussion about money and long-term financial goals.  And a discussion about choosing a college can be an eye-opening experience when your child learns what it costs.

Take advantage of these opportunities and by the time your child is ready to leave home, they will have a foundation to better prepare themselves for their financial future.

Start your children on the path to financial success. When you open a Kids’ Club account for your child at Community Bank, they’ll become a member of our Green Team. As a Green Team member, they’ll receive quarterly newsletters packed with fun activities to encourage healthy financial habits, and they’ll earn rewards for saving money! Stop in to your local branch for more information!

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

Holiday Food and Toy Drive November 12-December 12

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We’re proud to announce the start of our Third Annual Food and Toy Drive. Each year it brings us great pleasure to bring back this special seasonal event to help support the organizations and individuals in our communities.

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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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