• By Dana Sparks

Halloween Safety: Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

October 27, 2014

Trick or treaters on the porch

It's the time of year for costumes, sweets, and tricks and treats.
Put Halloween safety first with these common-sense tips.

Carve Safely: Before you start carving pumpkins, consider these Halloween safety rules:

  • Decorate with markers, glitter glue or paint. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with art supplies. Leave any carving to an adult.
  • Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Better yet, light pumpkins with flashlights, battery-operated flameless candles or glow sticks instead.

Get clever with costumes: From furry animals to princesses and superheroes, choosing costumes wisely is an important part of Halloween safety. Follow these tips:

  • The brighter the better. Whether you buy a costume or make one yourself, choose bright colors and flame-retardant materials. If your child will be trick-or-treating outdoors after dark, attach reflective tape to his or her costume or treat bag.
  • Size it right. In case it's chilly outdoors, make sure your child's costume is loose enough for warm clothing to be worn underneath — but not long enough to cause tripping. Avoid oversized shoes and high heels.
  • Skip the masks. A mask can obstruct your child's vision, especially if it slips out of place. Use kid-friendly, non-toxic makeup instead.
  • Limit accessories. Pointed props — such as wands, swords and knives — might pose safety hazards.

#6, When teleconferencing, always mute your phone to elimate background noise. Do not put your phone on hold, this creates background music that everyone hears. To elimate the music, all participants have to hang up and dial back in. Mute yes, hold no.


RE #4; prepare an agenda prior to the meeting and stick to it, which can also include asking attendees for their agenda items in advance.


And if you are talking, dogs barking and children in the background is very distracting.


Schedule you meeting with reasonable lead time. I’ve had one too many meeting requests emailed to me to be attended within 4 hours because of poor planning.


Now it would be great to follow up with 10 Tips For Minding Your Email Manners. It seems we all work out of email more than ever so these tips might help. 1. While it is great to acknowledge that you have read and understood someone's email, it is not always necessary to send an email that simply says, "Thanks!". I don't know how many emails I have accumulated with that reply. 2. Use email to track important conversations or decisions. Don't use email to ask a question that could be asked using another method (Office Communicator, phone, Yammer, or face to face). 3. Use the same email trail to reply during a multi-person communication. Starting a new email breaks the "chain" and makes it difficult to find all of the pieces of the conversation later. 4. Don't use one email to start multiple conversations or for a topic not related to the email. 5. Thoughtfully consider who really needs to know. Don't add people who are not impacted and do add people who really need to know. 6. What is the subject of your email really about? Don't make your subject a sentence or a question and make sure the email is really about the subject line, rather than some other topic. 7. Use proper grammar and carefully proof read your email before you send it to make sure it reads as you would speak. 8. If the email trail gets too long due to confusion or interpretation perhaps a brief 15 minute meeting would be a better solution. Then go back and send an email to follow up with what was agreed upon. 9. Don't use email as a task request tool. There are other tools available for that. 10. Write professionally when you are sending an important email. I have read emails from upper management that are written poorly. Email between co-workers is one thing but when you are attempting to say something important, make yourself sound credible and educated.


Adding to #5, please do not shut the conference room computer off. Any savings in cost of electricity is miniscule to cost of people time waiting for a computer to power-on, boot, and be ready for use. If the next group is outside the door, check whether they need to use the projector before shutting it down. That saves wear and tear on expensive bulbs as well as cost of people time.

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