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Halloween and Autumn Safety Tips
Autumn is a wonderful time of year and comes with colorful Fall Festivals and Halloween Celebrations. It's always good to take precautions to make sure that all family members, including pets, enjoy a safe experience as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides some great advice to make Autumn time Safety time.
Costume Suggestions for Fall Parties and Trick or Treating
Plan costumes that are reflective and brightly colored. Be certain that shoes fit well and that costumes are short. Long costumes can cause tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
When shopping for costumes, only consider materials that are flame-resistant.
Instead of a mask that can limit eyesight, consider a decorative hat or non-toxic face make-up.
Children and grownups should carry flashlights with fresh batteries when outside trick-or-treating
Never use decorative contact lenses as part of a costume. These lenses can be dangerous and can cause infection.
Children should be taught to never trick-or-treat alone. Go in a group or with a parent.
Safe Pumpkin Carving
Never allow young children to carve their own pumpkins. Instead, ask your child to draw the face on the pumpkin that the parents can carve. Or decorate your pumpkin using colorful paints, glue, and accessories.
Instead of putting a candle in your pumpkin, consider lighting your pumpkin with a glow stick or flashlight. If you prefer a candle, use a votive candle.
Candle-lit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable materials. Don't leave a candle-lit pumpkin unattended.
Making Your House Safe for Visitors
When getting ready for visitors at your house, remove anything that a visitor could trip over in the dark. Make sure garden hoses, decorations, toys, and bikes are not in walkways or on porches.
Make sure bulbs in outside lights are working, and change any burnt out bulbs.
Restrain your pets so they are not tempted to follow visitors out of your yard. Restraining pets also provides safety for your visitors.
Sweep any wet leaves away from walkways, steps, and porches to prevent slipping and falling.
Monitor Your Kids' Treats
Though tampering is rare, inspect treats that come home from trick-or-treating or from holiday gatherings. Make sure nothing is spoiled, unwrapped, or looks suspicious in any way.
Don't let children have unlimited access to festive candy and treats. Teach them to eat sweets in moderation only, and save some candy for another day.
Keep candy, especially chocolate out of the reach of pets. Any type of candy is not good for pets, and chocolate can be lethal
Ready for a Power Outage or Emergency?
It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit handy in case of power outages or other issues — especially with the threat of stormy weather in fall and winter. Emergency kit basics
Water (one gallon per person, per day; keep a two-week supply at home)
Food (non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items; two week supply at home)
Flashlight and battery-powered radio, along with extra batteries
First-aid kit, toiletries, medications and medical items
Copies of personal documents, along with family and emergency contact information
Extra cash, clothing and blankets
Cell phones and chargers
Maps of the area
Of course, you can expect the unexpected by calling your HALO insurance agent to chat about your coverage options, 314-351-HALO (4256).
Before the Wind Blows, Secure Your Trees and Shrubs
The seasons are changing, and the colors of autumn abound.
Regrettably, fall’s stunning display is often accompanied by some unwelcome weather hazards in the Midwest – namely, wind – that can cause considerable damage to the very trees that produce those beautiful fall leaves.
At HALO Insurance & Benefits Group, we want your yard and home to stay great throughout the season. Take a look at the following tips to ensure you keep your trees and shrubs healthy and avoid destruction that can result when the wind blows.
To protect existing trees
Bundle ‘em up. Go to a home and garden store and buy enough landscape fabric and plant ties to cover trees and shrubs vulnerable to the changing weather. Wrap them up for the winter and then unwrap them after spring has sprung.
Exercise pruning prowess. Proper pruning is essential to ensure trees can withstand winds, so make sure you use correct pruning techniques or hire a professional.
Trees and more trees. If you have trees that are especially susceptible to wind, consider planting more trees. Experts say to choose trees, like conifers and evergreens, to create a windbreak. As an added bonus, a windbreak placed in correct proximity to a home can reduce energy costs by up to 30 percent. Keep in mind: conifers should be planted at least 20 feet away from a structure, evergreens at least 30 feet away.
When planting new trees
Know which way the wind blows. Pay attention to the wind patterns through the fall and winter seasons and how they affect your particular lot. Plant trees in areas where structures, such as your home, garage or shed, can serve to shelter them from the wind.
Give them some space. Plant trees far enough away from structures and foundations. A smaller tree should have at least a 10-square-foot space to itself, and a larger tree needs at least 30 square feet.
At HALO, we hope these tips will ensure that you and your yard hang tough all season long... even when the wind starts howling.
Make Sure Your Pets Travel Well for the Holidays
The holiday season is here and that means it’s time to eat good food and join together with loved ones. For many who have families far away, this is also the time to pack up and head out.
If you are gearing up to travel and have pets at home, you’re probably considering their holiday options, perhaps a dog sitter, cat spa or kennel. If you just can’t bear leaving your furry friends behind, you’re in luck! With the following tips, you and your cuddly companions can be on your way — via car, plane or train — in safety and comfort.
Pre-travel honesty. Before you consider making Fido your backseat driver or your wingman, consider whether he will feel safer en route or at home. Some pets simply don’t like to travel, while others are more versatile.
Hit the rails. If you’re traveling by train, plan ahead. Make sure pets are allowed on the train and find out what rules apply. Also, ensure your pet can stay with you in the passenger compartment, versus needing to be placed in cargo.
Comfort your four-legged friends in flight. Before you book your flight, make sure the air carrier allows pets in the cabin or if they need to ride in cargo. Research weight requirements ahead of time, and check the airline’s website for additional regulations.
Pack their bags with care. Pack a travel bag for your pet, just as you do for yourself and your family. Consider items like food bowls, leashes, treats and favorite toys, as well as immunization records and identification tags.
Put the pedal to the metal. If you have a choice, travel by car. This way you can stop as frequently as necessary for potty stops and feedings.
Avoid accidents. Regardless of your mode of travel, be cognizant of the duration of your journey. Gauge how much your pet eats and drinks according to the length of the trip. If you’re traveling by train, find out in advance if there are stops when you and your pet can get out and get relief.
At HALO Insurance & Benefits Group, we hope you and your pets have a comfortable, safe journey wherever you travel for the holidays.