The air feels crisp, geese fly south and leaves turn bright hues of orange, red and gold.  Besides the start of a new school year, fall brings much-anticipated activities for children.  By following some simple safety guidelines, parents can make sure kids’ favorite fall traditions are a fun and safe experience for the whole family.

Pumpkin Carving
Children’s second-most-loved Halloween tradition (behind trick-or-treating, of course!) is creating a spooky jack-o-lantern to light up the night.  To prevent hand injuries, be sure to carve in a dry and well-lit area. Any moisture, including those slimy pumpkin innards, can cause slipping that might lead to injuries.  Leave the carving to adults—kids can help by drawing a pattern on the pumpkin and clean out the inside pulp and seeds.  And consider purchasing a pumpkin carving kit.  They include a special saw that isn’t sharp enough to cause a serious cut. Lastly, pick up a flameless, battery-operated candle to light up your jack-o-lantern. No flame means no risk of fire.Fall, Fun and Safety — Tips Every Parent Should Know

Whether a haunted hayride or an apple orchard activity, hayrides are a favorite experience for kids of all ages.  Take care when loading and unloading, making sure the hayride is at a complete stop.  Hold on to children and railings at all times, as the bumpy ride can easily bounce them off their seat.  Whether the hayride is pulled by a tractor or horse, it’s always a good idea to keep a safe distance away.

Corn Mazes
While fun, corn mazes can quickly become scary for young children—especially if they’re left alone.  Always accompany children into the maze and make sure your group knows to stick together.  Make sure, too, that the maze isn’t too close to parking lots or roads.  Be mindful of uneven walking surfaces, or fallen corn stalks, that could cause trips or falls. And remember that rain can result in muddy—and therefore, slippery—surfaces.

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