Halloween Safety and Secrets for Toddlers

Celebrating this spooky holiday is a lot different as a new parent rather than a young child going door to door in your favorite Halloween costume. How do you transition your little ones into this fun, yet sometimes scary, time of year? Our panel of experienced parents share what's worked (and not worked) for them. Plus, important safety tips for trick or treating from the San Diego Police Department.

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Our interview with Keli Wilson, creator of Alert ID. This FREE resource helps reduce crime and increase safety for families by information and public safety alerts from trusted sources including law enforcement, schools, neighbors, family members and friends. Register online now!

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Halloween Safety and Secrets for Toddlers


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

JOHNER RIEHL: From the time that we were kids and trick or treating probably a year to after we should have stopped. We all have been looking forward for excuse to make it at door to door again at Halloween. As parents, Halloween offers us a chance to relive the fun that we remember home making memories for your little one. But when is it okay to start going trick or treating, what are some safety tips to consider for toddlers and what experiences we as parents have that can help those going through their first Halloween with kids be helpful.

I am Johner Riehl, host to Parent Savers’ and today we are going to be talking all about this in a special spooky Halloween edition of Parent Savers’. This is episode 77, all about Halloween safety and secrets for toddlers.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome once again everybody to Parent Savers’. Broadcasting as always from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online the on-the-go support group for parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. I am your host Johner Riehl and thanks again for to all of your royal listeners who have joined the Parent Savers’ Club. These members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts and they also get access to all of our archived episode, but guess what so do you. We have unlocked our archived episodes and they are now free for anyone to listen to. So make sure to go check out some of our old episodes you can hear some of the great Parent Savers’ wisdom we have been spreading for the past year and a half.

You can also subscribe to our monthly Parent Savers’ news letter for a chance to win membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloaded our free Parent Savers’ App which you can get on the iTunes market place or the Android market place. They you will get an alert whenever we release a new podcast.

So we are doing a special episode today on Halloween and for this episode we got a nice – it is going to be a pretty fun discussion hopefully, panel of parents –

SUNNY GAULT: You have just jinxed it.

JOHNER RIEHL: I totally jinxed it. But we will make a lot of Halloween sound. So let’s introduce ourselves and our kids. I am Johner Riehl, I have 3 kids, Quinner, Whitaker and Zyler and they are 6 year-old, a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old. I am going to introduce another special guest joining us for the first time is my wife Christina.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: And I am Christina!

JOHNER RIEHL: How many kids do you have Christina?

CHRISTINA RIEHL: 3 children. I would say that they are 6 and a half, 4 and a half and 2. That is why I am their favorite.

BILL SANNWALD: I am Bill Sannwald, I have 2 children. I have a 6 years-old Kazuo and 3 years-old Yoshie and can I throw the fun fact that my wedding anniversary is on Halloween.

ERIN ESTEVES: Happy witching of you.


ERIN ESTEVES: Well my name is Erin Esteves. I am OG Mammacita and I have one child, his name is Cash and he is just about 2 years-old.

SUNNY GAULT: And I am Sunny, I am the owner of New Mommy Media, which produces Parent Savers’, Preggie Pals, The Boob Group and coming soon the Twin Talks. I have two little boys at home, Sayer who is 3, Urban who is about 18 months and twin…

JOHNER RIEHL: Coming soon…

SUNNY GAULT: Twin identical girls, coming soon, Ainslie and Adison due on December 2nd if I can make it that long.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: It is the baby apocalypse!

SUNNY GAULT: The baby apocalypse! Can be really scary, it really could. My house could be scary.

JOHNER RIEHL: As Erin said, I am scared for you. I don’t say it that much but we are kind of scared for you.

ERIN ESTEVES: I am very scared for you.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Before we get into today’s topic, I am joined now by Kelly Wilson from Alert ID and they make a great App that is perfect for parents and families. So we are going to learn a little more about it. Welcome Kelly.

KELLY WILSON: Thanks for having me.

JOHNER RIEHL: So tell me a little bit about your App. It is called Alert ID and what led you to create it.

KELLY WILSON: It originally started with a personal story and I was at an amusement park in California with my three kids and my husband and it was a very busy day and I was separated from my kids from up to an hour. And any parent knows that panic, that terrifying feeling. So thankful when I was united with our kids at that time, I didn’t have the necessary updated information and photo and I am going to need it to be able to do a search. So that spread on the idea of how can we help children and families (unclear) looking children.

So what I did again, originally (unclear) by creating a way online for families to be able to store this information. Well in speaking to law enforcement across the country, they said this is wonderful, it is revolutionizing child safety; however can we expand to include not only children but families and communities and you know neighbors and so we have been able to do that. So we created an Alert ID which is free online and local service and it allows you to see what kind of events are happening in the neighborhood whether it be (unclear) and members can share information with each other, they can share this piece of information, they have a platform for public safety that people can communicate and social network if you want. And we created an App so that you can take this information with you wherever you go, no matter what state you are in, in all 50 states.

So people can take the App and say, “Okay I am going to go to a different park or we trying to move to area, how safe is this area? So they can look at the App and see what (sex offenders) are near this park and you know what I am going to keep my eye more open or maybe I will go somewhere else.

JOHNER RIEHL: We went to a park the other day, that was outside our normal neighborhood and I was surprised by how uneasy I felt been in a strange area and not knowing what was around and been out of the bubble and it sounds like Alert ID could really help me with that and get me to be little more comfortable with the area or less comfortable if this is the case.

KELLY WILSON: And I agree with you and I think in most families, any emotion is true in power. The more that love and the more that you can be in power with information you know that is happening, the better we can protect our kid and work together as a community to feel safer and to take care our family.

JOHNER RIEHL: So exactly does it work, you download the App free like you said and then you also have to create an account and then what happens from there.

KELLY WILSON: Well it is very easy, again as you mentioned it, it is free. You just go to www.alertid.com it takes less than a minute create an account and all it ask you for it is your name and it will ask for your address but it is all simply for geographic purposes. It will pull up a map or learning- but you can include other neighborhood as well like your child’s school or your work, you know areas you visit, grandma’s house. You will be able see where to go in the neighborhood with the map. You will also be able to receive email and push notification alerts whenever something changes for example (unclear) to your neighborhood, you to be notified, anything in the (unclear) number data base from your state whenever anything changes you will be notified as a member of Alert ID.

JOHNER RIEHL: And yes, we actually got a landing page just for Parent Savers’, The Boob Group and Preggie Pals listeners. If you got to www.alertid.com/newmommy you can sign up there. Does it matter if you sign up first and then download the App or download the App and then sign up, can you do it in either order.

KELLY WILSON: It doesn’t matter.

JOHNER RIEHL: So is the information you are getting through Alert ID, is that something that you guys are putting out there or is it coming straight from the source?

KELLY WILSON: It comes straight from the source, we hide it directly into the State (unclear) from the data bases. So when ever anything changes in a (sex defender’s) profile, their address, any physical trade that change that will just go directly to our members in alert. We also have crime information and many-many things across the country, same things which are directly into their cab system, their dispatch system so that, that information goes directly to our members to the citizens. You know if there is a theft that happens down your street, you are going to be notified. Yeah it is unfiltered and we just you know we have a partnership with them and we charge directly with them.

Can I add one more thing that I want to share what I was talking about?

JOHNER RIEHL: Absolutely!

KELLY WILSON: Wonderful! Its (unclear audio) really want to be prepared about picking our kids…and it kind of goes back to the original, the origin of Alert ID. You can put your most updated photo, demomathic information like height, weight, that kind of thing directly into the App on your smart phone so that you are prepared in the case of future of your child or your child becomes lost or missing because so you have the most updated information and one for said, it is grateful to have that because 99% of the time families aren’t prepared. So I encourage you all to become a member of Alert ID and download the App. Be prepared with the most updated information on your children so that you are prepared and you can be reunited with your child if you are separated from them.

JOHNER RIEHL: Great! It is a really cool idea, it is amazing I think that this is a free service, something definitely I think all parents and families should have and I am glad that they are able to make them aware of it. Thanks for joining us Kelly.

KELLY WILSON: Thanks so much for spreading the word and Protecting the Family.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Alright! Today’s topic for Parent Savers’ is Halloween Safety and Secrets for Toddlers. Today we are doing things a bit differently as we don’t have an expert parse but instead we are going to have a round table discussion and I guess we are all your Halloween experts. Maybe that is spooky …

SUNNY GAULT: That is scary…

BILL SANNWALD: There are many hours of trick or treating under my bell.

JOHNER RIEHL: Lets kick things of by talking about our first Halloween with our kids, you know to maybe help see if there is anything that we learned or we did that might be a better dis in parents with newborns or you know thinking about doing it for the first time.
I think that for Quinner’s first Halloween, he was like 9 months-old and I think the main things we do was we dress him up for a like Halloween parties like a work – not like crazy Halloween party…

CHRISTINA RIEHL: We took him I think to a neighbor’s house or something….

JOHNER RIEHL: Or like to one house…

CHRISTINA RIEHL: To one house but then really just gave him the joy of been there when other kids came to the door.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah and he was 9 months-old and so. But I think the first time we really took him out was the next year when he was a year and nine months.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Your right, the Dora year.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah he dressed up as Dora, because he loved Dora and not Diego and people were like why didn’t you dress up like Diego and like because he like Dora.

BILL SANNWALD: Yeah, there is nothing wrong with that, my son had short brownie face where he get into my little pony and so we were like that is cool.


ERIN ESTEVES: You guys are modern dads.

JOHNER RIEHL: What do you remember from your first Halloween, Bill?

BILL SANNWALD: From mine or …

JOHNER RIEHL: Your kids.

BILL SANNWALD: Well since we loved Halloween so much, we usually tried to have team costumes. So with my son’s first Halloween, my wife, my son and I were the three bears and then with my daughters….

JOHNER RIEHL: Which one where you?

BILL SANNWALD: I was papa bear! I should have been baby bear and then with my daughter’s first Halloween, we had a fire theme, so my son got a fireman’s outfit and so we kind of built it around that. So my daughter was the Dalmatian, I was fire truck and my wife was the fire. So I really didn’t explain to people because you have like his red outfit on and it was kind of like flowing on around and they were like “What are you?”

JOHNER RIEHL: That is super cute!

CHRISTINA RIEHL: That is awesome!

BILL SANNWALD: And then every year we come up with…

JOHNER RIEHL: Especially with like a baby that is a really kind of cute and cool way to do it to involve…

CHRISTINA RIEHL: To do a family theme…

JOHNER RIEHL: To involve the sack of potatoes.

BILL SANNWALD: And you kind of get more candy when you are…

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so you guys all went around as a family then trick or treating like that.

BILL SANNWALD: I have never stopped trick or treating because I have a niece who is 20 and when she was younger, that was about the age you know I was in high school and when I stop trick or treating by I would take her…

JOHNER RIEHL: Which was a good deal for you because you want to keep going…

BILL SANNWALD: And they will also be like “Oh with the big trick or treating like a candy ball”. Actually it is hard core, we would go like 3 or 4 hours at least. But my kids can go as long now. But it is still fun going around with them. But I think I will have a mystery of trick or treating except maybe once or twice in college.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Maybe when you got married.

JOHNER RIEHL: Did you go trick or treating on your wedding?

BILL SANNWALD: I guess we didn’t, well sort of because we went to Disney land that day and we got some treats so.

SUNNY GAULT: That is impressive.

JOHNER RIEHL: How did you dressed up? Or you were a groom?


ERIN ESTEVES: Yes they were bride and groom.

BILL SANNWALD: Our parents would have totally killed if would have had like a Halloween – in fact first we said we are getting married Halloween. I remembered like getting calls like “You were not doing this”. We had a normal ceremony, we had it in the morning so that we could get up to Disney land by afternoon but when we made our escape we put on like Halloween shirts and groucho marx glasses.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: That is cute! Nice!

JOHNER RIEHL: Nice! Did you guys go out last year with Cash?

ERIN ESTEVES: No! I mean we barely got the costume on him. I got one photograph with the costume on him and his face was all squished and agony you know, he was just like “get this off of me”.

JOHNER RIEHL: That is one of the crazy things that makes you angry about pinterest, right? Because we all have tried to take pictures of our kids in their costumes and it never works.

SUNNY GAULT: No when does it start to work, I mean has it with your older kids, I mean did they start posing right?

CHRISTINA RIEHL: The older one will pose but we want them all together, like last year there might have been a little problem trying to get the three of them to get a picture at the same time because at the point then the older boys are like I am in a costume or outside, good going. “No, no, no, no! You are posing for a picture”.

JOHNER RIEHL: And then there are no smiles on their face.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: No! I have seen some of the pictures…the picture of the baby sitting in a hollowed-out pumpkin. Like I have seen the beautiful of interest with a little baby like that. Everyone I have seen where someone really tries to do that, no…

ERIN ESTEVES: I think there is a site dedicated to pinterest fails.

JOHNER RIEHL: And there is Yes, Halloween I think is a certain- so you guys didn’t go out this year?




JOHNER RIEHL: You don’t want candy?

ERIN ESTEVES: No, no well, we haven’t given him candy but also Halloween scares me. I don’t like going out there with people who have mask on. They tend to get a little crazy and they do stuff that they normally wouldn’t do when you can see their faces.

SUNNY GAULT: Do you think that is because you are more Downtown like in an area when I don’t know…

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, you live in a more urban area.

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah I live in a very urban area.

SUNNY GAULT: As suppose to subarea.

ERIN ESTEVES: Well for me it is a personal thing, I have had a few mishaps and they were all around like Halloween, when people in costume or their faces where obscured.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: So there was no count ability.

ERIN ESTEVES: Exactly! And then on top of it been in Downtown that you know people treat it like an alcoholic Disney land is this kind of chaotic.

JOHNER RIEHL: It is interesting about the mask, because I actually have this rule that I try to enforce with the kids is that I won’t let them wear anything that covers you know more than like a third of their face. I think its half of their face, like they can cover. Because you know I don’t like it when kids come to the door and you don’t know who you are talking to, or even if they are grown up, like you know what is going on behind the mask and I don’t want them to be making people feel uncomfortable with that either and so we kind of have no mask rule.

BILL SANNWALD: I don’t get too freaked out on masks because a lot of times like when I see somebody in a really scary mask or something I will go “Well cool mask” and then there is a sort of voice that comes out “thanks”. So it was a kid for me I would try to get like the grossest scariest mask I could and I just thought I was like so awesome as something like second grader like “Look at my dead face”. I can see like you know especially if there is an adult in a mask it is kind of like a little questionable.

JOHNER RIEHL: From a practical perspective, getting a mask on a one year old, no…

SUNNY GAULT: It is impossible; I mean we would never keep a costume or hat.

BILL SANNWALD: No, that is the time to just make him as cute as possible because…

ERIN ESTEVES: I mean if they don’t even keep their diapers on, how can we expect to keep a costume on.

JOHNER RIEHL: Sunny, did you guys go out?

SUNNY GAULT: We did and I am trying to think, so yeah we had both kids last years and you know it’s been a struggle. We have not hit an idea when it comes to Halloween what so ever. Our oldest either hasn’t gotten it, you know he doesn’t know what to do. He is too young to really know what is going on, you know hates the costume stuff or last year which was scared because actually we moved and we are in a neighborhood now that really kind of does up Halloween which was great for the kids. It is a gated community and whatever, so we feel kind of safe. But it is also scary because you know there is a lot that people really have coffins outside of their house and stuff like that and my 3 year-old sees spooky spider and totally freaks out. He doesn’t know how to say trick or treat really and so he is like all temped going up to the door. So we just haven’t hit our stray with this and the younger one is too young. But we do – I also have a problem with spending money on costumes that they are not going to wear, but especially I think maybe with little boys, like I do find that if you let them wear their costumes throughout the year, they probably would. But you know as a parent, I don’t know if you want to that but-

JOHNER RIEHL: We do that, yeah we actually use Halloween as an excuse to stock up on the costume box.

SUNNY GAULT: So they do that, okay because I know little girls can do like the princess thing. I wasn’t sure like…

JOHNER RIEHL: Like the fire-fire costumes, now it is all like the super hero stuff.

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah, I went as a pillow one year.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s awesome! Did you really go as a …

ERIN ESTEVES: Yes, just get the holes in the pillow case and put it on with your arms to your head…

CHRISTINA RIEHL: It sounds like a ghost.

ERIN ESTEVES: I tried the ghost thing, but I couldn’t get the holes to match up with my eye…

CHRISTINA RIEHL: So you turned into the pillow.

ERIN ESTEVES: I was looking around to what was left to cut up and since I was in my bed room…

JOHNER RIEHL: So I would say that I think that one of things I would say if for families going through with young kids is you know because of the scary stuff, go to maybe one house that you know, your neighbor, your good friend across the street, you person who is next door. Do the cues trick or treat, get the picture of them doing whatever so you can kind of have it. But then you know especially 1 year-olds, they love having specific missions to help you with. So if they are going to be able – if they can help with giving out the candy to the trick or treat is coming as long as you don’t run into the scary fourth graders with the crazy mask but you know early in the night, they can help kind of hand everything out. I think that is something that our kids have really liked and I think that is a good way to kind of involve the young kids in Halloween.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: What I remember, I loved Quinner’s first Halloween, because he didn’t know what was in the packages and we got all chocolate because that is our favorite and he had no idea that there was candy in there until he was playing with them in the colors and the candy and he never knew it was candy.

ERIN ESTEVES: So he didn’t try to eat it?

CHRISTINA RIEHL: He didn’t try to eat it, he just took it in and out of the bowl, it was there and playing with it.

JOHNER RIEHL: It was just another toy to play with.

SUNNY GAULT: I think that is a really good point about having them in their house because they are familiar with their own house, right? I think part of this scary part of it for them is that they are not used to going up this strange – and you are telling them there whole life, don’t talk to strangers, don’t you know accept stuff from strangers and they were like “Oh, here, take this candy and wear this costume and say trick or treat.” I mean it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. So I think that was a good way to kind of ease them into it.

JOHNER RIEHL: So let’s take a quick break, when we come back, we got some tips from the San Diego Police Department for safe Halloween. So we will go through those kind of line by line and continue the discussion that hopefully I didn’t jinx and hopefully it is little bit of fun and educational.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome back everybody back to Parent Savers’. Today we are talking about Halloween safety and secrets for toddlers. So we got some tips from the San Diego Police Department. We asked them if they could join us, they couldn’t send a representative but they send over some safety tips which I think are kind of worth sharing and we can kind of go through and maybe talk if we have got some experience with them.

First tip: Is have your children wear light or bright colored clothing or reflective tape, so that they can easily be seen. It is kind of a funny idea and this is probably talking to about slightly older kids maybe it is like the 3 and 4 years-old go out.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: I would say as soon as they are walking.

JOHNER RIEHL: Soon as they are walking, yeah because they could crawl away.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Right and I have been trying to incorporate reflective tape in to your costume.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah, I will take any because she used to put reflective tapes on my cloths.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: We did it last year.

BILL SANNWALD: I don’t know if it is on your tips, but those glow sticks all of time…

SUNNY GAULT: Oh yeah I have seen those.

BILL SANNWALD: They put it round their neck and kids love those stuff, they wear it as wrist bands…

JOHNER RIEHL: That is actually a good point.

BILL SANNWALD: You can get like I am a cool like a tough ninja or something but it is with glow sticks all over your arms.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Is that for cars, is that the deal or just to protect them from cars or…

JOHNER RIEHL: I think it is for cars, like driving round the neighborhood for sure. I mean because when it gets dark and the kids are like- there are a whole lot of street crossing in. I think it helps the parent that they are just been able to see him.

ERIN ESTEVES: I was going to say Yes, since we have the older boys that we give a little bit of a longer way that they can go ahead of us and when it got dark it was nice to be able to bam and there you are.

JOHNER RIEHL: That is a good – like you got to Michaels or wherever you can get this glow sticks for so cheap these days and we ended up by like start piling them and then we should have totally broad busted those out. So remember to bring them on Halloween.

Alright! Make sure there costumes fit well. Over size costumes and foot wear can cause them to trip and fall.

BILL SANNWALD: So did your pillow costume fit well.

ERIN ESTEVES: It did, thank you, Yes, it hit me at just the right place for flatter my figure.

JOHNER RIEHL: I remember, I think it is easier to want to squeeze your kids in the costumes that maybe too big from him, especially if they are just learning the walk. So you want to make sure that it is the right size. Maybe you don’t want something that covers the feet especially if it is too big. I feel like that turtle costume that we got for Quinner the first year was too big.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Fairly the exact opposite, so Sayer was, we called it Sayer Saur, he was a dinosaur but we called him Sayer Saur and I found like a one see that kind of looked like a dinosaur body and I really didn’t factor in, you know I bought it like 3 months prior to Halloween and I didn’t factor that he was growing quite rapidly at that point and so by the time Halloween came, he didn’t quite fit in, it was I am stuffing my kid into this costume. But I then just ended up cutting off the footsy things and then I just wore tennis shoes and something like that. That totally worked.

JOHNER RIEHL: Alright! Next tip; make sure the hats can’t slide over your kids eyes and if they wear masks that they fit securely and have eye hole that are large enough for full vision.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, do you want your kids wearing mask (unclear) though, I don’t know.

ERIN ESTEVES: I see no masks.

SUNNY GAULT: I can’t keep them on my kids now, so it is irrelevant.

JOHNER RIEHL: Christina and Bill slightly disagree.

BILL SANNWALD: I will say a mask, almost got me kicked out of Disney land on my wedding day because I didn’t release that you couldn’t wear mask in there.


BILL SANNWALD: When I walked in I was – I had big like mask and I pulled it over and I was like walking around and waving and like within minutes I was surrounded by security like “Sir, you have to take off the mask or leave.”

SUNNY GAULT: They have adults in costumes everywhere in Disney land. You mean to tell me that they won’t let like someone walk around in a mask.

JOHNER RIEHL: You said (unclear)

BILL SANNWALD: Yes, it was kind of scary. I mean I could see like these kids were like “Who is this weird man”.

ERIN ESTEVES: This is supposed to be a happy place why is the dead walking around.

BILL SANNWALD: I was like “Okay you can have the mask, I don’t care, let me go, you know its my world “

CHRISTINA RIEHL: I am a fan of the mask, the reason I am looking at you is because our 6 year –old blinks to a mask this year.

JOHNER RIEHL: Death Vader.


BILL SANNWALD: That is kind of awesome.

JOHNER RIEHL: And he has got his friends who are going to be “Bowl of fire” and they decided on their own to do it. So I am having a mask crisis right now. I think that is adorable and awesome but …

CHRISTINA RIEHL: It is a mask.

JOHNER RIEHL: I am not cutting out eye holes big enough for him to see in the mask by the way.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: But you know what you have made a rule that I think is reasonably – you can totally wear the mask when you go up to say trick or treat with the mask so they can see who it is.

JOHNER RIEHL: So then let them wear costumes with excessive fabric, lose clothing can brush up against the Jacqueline or other open flames and cause costumes to catch on fire.

BILL SANNWALD: Is this a frequent occurrence or is this like –

SUNNY GAULT: I think I kind of see, I mean how many people actually do the real candles.

ERIN ESTEVES: Did they put this on 1972, how many people still have -

CHRISTINA RIEHL: It could have been 2000.

ERIN ESTEVES: How many people have still use actual candles?

JOHNER RIEHL: True, but I think there is fire danger I think, but I think these days we don’t use real flames in the Jacqueline, they have these candles – if they carry props such as soldier knives, have them carry flexible ones and flexible ones can cause serious injury, if they fall on them that actually what they say but if there is swords involved there is going to be whaling and – I mean is kind of like the peniella rule.

SUNNY GAULT: I have an issue with this, I don’t care of it if its Halloween or anything. I have an issue with swords, knives, guns anything like that. I just – I know it is all in fun and you know I don’t know we had a friend that gave my son like this glowing – it wasn’t glowing the dark - it like lit up but it was especially for something at night and there was a sword you know it was a whole weapon thing, I just don’t know what is getting into his head and I am just one of this retentive parents.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Well I definitely think for young kids, you can control that. Having a 6 year-old, it is harder to – and he will turn anything into –

JOHNER RIEHL: The 2 year-old does it a little bit to because he sees his brother do it, right. So then you got the 1 year-old and the 2 year-old picking a blade of grass.

The next tips: Attach a tag with your kids name, address and phone number to their clothes in case they get separated from you. It is better they go trick or treating during the day light and I think especially for young kids that’s good. I mean definitely is the shift that happens with trick or treating, where at the beginning you got like all the families and it is like the adorable Norman Rockwell painting with Americano with young kids and then at night it is like –

CHRISTINA RIEHL: The scary mask.

JOHNER RIEHL: The scary mask and you get the kids coming to your door they are like, Bill I think you should –

CHRISTINA RIEHL: If you were able to drive here I am not giving you candy.

BILL SANNWALD: During the day there is a lot of co activities you can go to like malls or libraries like have things we can go in and trick or treat and maybe do a craft or something and that’s something so if you don’t want to take your kids trick or treating, there is lots to do while it is still daylight that they can still get that Halloween flavor without having to worry about going to some strange-

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Well that is a great idea too because then you can get him out, let him do the trick or treating and then there is some joy and fun about been at home and handing out the candy. So they get both sides of that.

BILL SANNWALD: You can make it in a contest like – if we see this many like ninjas tonight (I keeping going back to the ninjas for some reason) if you see this lady then you win or you know.

JOHNER RIEHL: Some of the other tips, you have to a little bit with older children, older children should go with friend, only go to home with the porch lights on, remind kids to stay on sideways and face traffic if they can. Tell your children not to eat treats that they collect but to bring them home to examine.

BILL SANNWALD: Oh man I just used to eat then as we went.

SUNNY GAULT: Can I say something, this is actually more for the parents out there, if you are not going to do the trick or treat thing and you are not going to answer your door , the stupidest thing ever is just to leave like a whole thing of candy out by your door, that drives me crazy.

JOHNER RIEHL: Here is where it is coming from when you get older kids right, like there is a huge conflict of like I want to go out with the kid trick or treating but I also want to give candy because –

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Also I don’t want to be the house that didn’t give the candy because then you know whose pumpkin gets smashed.

SUNNY GAULT: What I am saying is that older kids will come around and take all of it, it will be gone like 5 minutes.

JOHNER RIEHL: It is okay if you want to do it early.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Yeah, do it early, get back for the older kids.

BILL SANNWALD: I remember one time there was a house I went to and they did that and there was some kids that came up and started taking a lot, they open the door and said “We are actually watching you” They said to take one, we are distributing…

JOHNER RIEHL: That sounds good.

SUNNY GAULT: To make him feel bad.

JOHNER RIEHL: And then they hit him with the sword but it is flexible. So if a lot of parents are going to stay in with their kids after only going trick or treating, what kind of stuff do you think they should give out? Like if you did have trick or treaters and you guys and Cash has never eaten candy, what would you give out?

ERIN ESTEVES: Full candy bars, fully size. You know, the houses I am talking about as kids, that you knew who gift the huge candy bar.

JOHNER RIEHL: So do you want to be in that house?

ERIN ESTEVES: I don’t want to spend the money but – oh there is the old lady the thing she is doing you the favor by giving you a couple of pennies.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: That was her next door neighbor.

ERIN ESTEVES: They make these any more.

SUNNY GAULT: All those candy almonds.

JOHNER RIEHL: Or was it like these things in a wrapper that are like orange and squashy and like the worst Halloween candy ever?

SUNNY GAULT: The orange and black peanut butter, oh, I know its the --

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes, the orange and the black peanut butter thing – its in like black paper --

CHRISTINA RIEHL: It is the most generic Halloween candy out there.

JOHNER RIEHL: We ended up now in our thrifty state – we just buy like – we didn’t even buy like the bags of Halloween candy it cost me more, we buy the boxes of the titti roll lollypops because they are cheaper anyway and we get oranges --

SUNNY GAULT: Oh, yeah, that’s okay.

JOHNER RIEHL: You know, give out the lollypops.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: Yeah, or dum-dumbs.

JOHNER RIEHL: Is there anything healthy that you can give out and knock your egg?

SUNNY GAULT: Don’t give up fruit, like seriously I have been in houses to where they do – oh, I like when houses give out those glow sticks that you are talking about.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: You see that good one.

SUNNY GAULT: That’s a really good one.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s a good idea.

SUNNY GAULT: Just a little tiny like sticks or the bands or whatever. Because you are helping parents, and kids like them.

BILL SANNWALD: I have seen that people give out things like stickers or you know,

JOHNER RIEHL: Hats on the edge, that’s on the line.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: I am against those they put that on everything that ruins your furniture.

BILL SANNWALD: You know, what I didn’t like, there was a dentist across the street he gave out --

SUNNY GAULT: Tooth brushes. No, he did not.

JOHNER RIEHL: We both have that experience.

SUNNY GAULT: See that’s like the women who hands out pennies or the women that hands out fruit.


SUNNY GAULT: Come on. I mean, if you are going to do, it just turn off your light, if you are going to do something like that. Don’t make me feel bad for feeding my kids candy.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s the other actually the other crazy thing about Halloween is like – I was like going to the door so I can peek inside people’s houses, oh, they are like look how that things is set up, oh they took out the fire place, look at the --

ERIN ESTEVES: So its permissible, voyeurism.

JOHNER RIEHL: Its like your one chance a year, that oh, okay, yeah.

CHRISTINA RIEHL: See another reason not to open the door.

SUNNY GAULT: See, I like it just to see how the people decorate their house, not just for Halloween but like oh, they guys ceramic tile wear, I should have done that.

JOHNER RIEHL: A fair screen rug, interesting choice. All right, nice, well, hopefully there is some helpful tips there for toddler it is fun to record, hopefully it’s fun to listen to, we will see how it goes, give us your feedback, we actually want to hear from you on this episode. Send us your picture of your cute kids on Halloween, we are going to do some sort of contest on our face book page that. Yeah, happy Halloween, thanks for listening, thanks for so much for joining us. We are actually going to do a – some bonus content for our parents here in the club, we are going to talk about our favorite Halloween candies, stuffs that we really like getting, as well as some other memories. So join us after the show for that if you want more information of the Parents Savers’ club, visit our website at www.parentsavers.com

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Before we wrap up today’s show here is blogger David Giannina sharing the realities of parenting from his blog The Daddy Complex.

DAVID GIANNINA: Hi parent series, this is The Daddy Complex I am David Giannina, father of twin boys and if my experiences tell me anything about parenting it’s that I know nothing about parenting. Once your baby becomes a toddler, you will never be on time again, ever, not an exaggeration, your friends will simply assume that when you say you will be somewhere at 10 am on Monday it means 11:30 am, and that is if things go well, if not it means Thursday. You will also learn how to convince with work experience that will make a top drill dragster look like a radio flyer, and if you think you are too organized for this to happen, trust me it applies to pretty much everyone because even militantly analog clock watchers will experience this often enough to either adopt or go insane. My wife and I use to battle to get the boys to the morning routine, wake up, go potty, dress for school, eat breakfast, get in the car and depart. As my mother-in-law says it’s not rocket surgery, the problem for us and other parents is any number of these steps could and inevitably due take much longer than plan.

For example, whether or not our son Boon decides to spend 15 minutes from potty remains a wild card, by the way seemingly simple steps takes a long, pick any combination of the following choices and prepare to twins or triplets multiply it. Refusing to eat, wanted to be fed by one of us. Wanted to be held by one us rather than getting dressed. Arguing why Go Diego Go should be watched. Running and or screaming, unhappiness with choice of clothing even if said child pick it out, unhappiness with the choice of breakfast even if said child picked it out, more running or screaming, random and sometimes imagined injury sustained while running and/or screaming, hunting for specific toy that was absolutely flying across the room the previous night, impromptu game of hide-and-seek, conversation of about whether or not giraffe stands, party accident, puking caused by unforced seen elements, trying to ride the dog like a pony, simple lolly gagging. Even more running and/or screaming and adjusting the time length to start the process earlier doesn’t help, it just gives your child more time to mess around.

Toddlers in pre-school are simply want too much to do to adhere to your randomly chosen schedule, just getting in the car takes 20 minutes unless of course you have allotted 10 minutes for – in much case it will take anyway from 20 minutes to a fortnight, this may sound absolutely infuriating but my wife and I have hit upon a fantastically simple solution. We made peace with being light, we go to bed each night knowing the next morning will feature us sparkling instructions and request of the boys over and over followed by mad dash to work and because of that adjustment we sleep better and enjoy our mornings more, sometimes we even pull along that conversation about dancing giraffes. Check out more on my terrible advice at www.thedaddycomplex.com that have been post or on twitter at the daddy complex. You can also view “the surge of fighting with babies” by puppet web series for parents www.daddycomplex.com/fwb and be sure to keep listening to Parent Savers’ for more fatherly tips.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps us our show for today. Thank you so much for listening to Parent Savers’, don’t forget to check our sister show Preggie Pals for Expecting Parents, our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and Twin Talks focusing on for parents of twins.

Next week we are going to be talking about “Creating Family Tradition”, so hopefully you can go out and create some of your own this Halloween and we are going to do one more spooky Halloween noise.


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.


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