SEPTEMBER 2018 – President’s Letter

I’m sending out September’s letter early as we just finished our August open and executive meetings. We had about 20 people attend and that includes the Board. We have 300 homes and represented at the meeting were about 15 homes. That’s only a 5% attendance, so it’s important that we (the Board) share the information discussed at those meetings.

The vitally important things facing the Board are our next year contracts for the pool and landscaping. Both of these will be reviewed by the Director responsible and then presented to the full Board for approval. Our 2019 budget can be formulated based on those large expenditures.

We just completed a reserve study, and although we are still sifting through all the information presented, it seems we are in a very good financial place for the next five years. Although the study does call for a $5 increase in the yearly fees five years from now. That would mean a .50 cents per month increase. As that date approaches, the Board in place at that time will have to make a decision if it is needed.

The Board is also seriously considering a new legal team for next year as we are not pleased with the results and cost of the current legal group.

A couple other agenda items will be developing a fine schedule along with punitive measures for those that do not follow the covenants and or our policies. Adding to that will be fine tuning our leasing program to address renters who are unable to handle living in an HOA community. This will include eliminating the homeowner or leasing company from renting in our subdivision.

All in all this year has presented no real big problems although landscaping has been problematic throughout the year. Most of this stems from being able to maintain adequate help. We have been told this is not just our issue but has affected many landscaping companies this year.

That’s an overview of what is going on and I will touch on some detailed information in the rest of this newsletter. Football season is here and I hope all of our teams do well. Enjoy the long fall season as I especially do in this area of Georgia.

Thanks for reading,

Don Roach, President

 

CCHOA Bear: Email from Resident

Today the board received an email from a resident on Centennial Commons Bend.  As we all hoped our community bear moved on, he/she has not.  Last night, she was able to snap a photo of him looking into

Backyard window.  Again, we emphasize to not leave bird seed or any other food out.  Make sure garbage cans are securely stowed away.  Beware in the evening hours.

Easement Update

As you can tell the construction has begun big time to the right of our entrance. The developer has taken down the clump of trees on our common property that was blocking our view to the right as you exited the community. That was a huge safety bonus for our subdivision. The 17 or 18 homes being built in the area will be priced above $300k and that should certainly raise our home values. They have completed tapping into our sewer system and this ended up being a non-event…

Pool News

Pool season is winding down. The pool hours changed after the Labor Day Weekend.  The new hours will be 9 AM to 8 PM.  Also, the lifeguards will no longer be available. The pool volunteers will test the water twice daily along with inspecting the pool at opening and closing times. The pool will close for the year on Sept. 30. I hope you were able to enjoy the pool this season.

Facebook page

A little more than half of our residents have joined our Facebook page.  This is the best and fastest way to get immediate information regarding the subdivision, i.e.; looking for recommendations on home issues, posting events in the community, lost dogs, found dogs, and yes, even our recent bear sighting! If you have not already done so, please go to CCHOA in Acworth on Facebook and ask to join the group. (Make sure to take the time to read the conduct policy regarding all posts.)

Email

The other way to get information is to join our email list. You are getting this because we have your email information and can send you important information quickly. If your neighbor doesn’t know why they are not getting this it’s because the Secretary, Shirley Cox does not have their info. Tell them to drop her a line at shirleycchoa@gmail.com. And she will add you to our community email list.

Landscaping News

We have noticed a new weed called Dove weed in the yards along Centennial Commons View. We have directed 4 Seasons to spray this weed as they find it in the next turf treatment.  Unfortunately, this treatment will cause a temporary yellowing of the surrounding lawn but it will not kill the grass.  

Landscaping News – Broken Mantles in Lamppost

Several complaints have come up over the summer regarding the broken gas mantles caused by mowers hitting the lamppost. The best solution for this is to place garden rock or flowers around your post. If the mowers stay far enough away from the post they will not bump it. Also, there will be fewer complaints that the grass is too high around the posts. Be sure to fill out an ACC request before doing though so you can get approval for this work.

Landscaping News – Tree canopies

Some trees are so large; they are beyond what landscapers can do. 4 Seasons will trim up to 10-12 feet. Any additional thinning of the crown of the tree or removal of branches above the 10-12 feet limit is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Landscaping News – Shrubs

Many of the homes in the subdivision are now old enough that front and side shrubs are crowding out each other and causing some of those old bushes to die.  If you have this situation it is your responsibility to remove and replace these after getting ACC approval.

Landscaping News – Large Golden-thread False Cypress

Many of you have these large shrubs in your front yard and they may be looking very gangly with wild tops. 4 Seasons used to trim these as a matter of practice but about 4 years ago they discontinued that practice unless otherwise specifically and personally directed by the homeowner.  If you want them trimmed you must call our Representative Shawn Lesko at 404-822-5771 and make an appointment to meet with him to discuss your specific needs.

Dog Feces

We have received many complaints regarding homeowners who walk their dogs and do not pick up after their dog. The residents have asked us to do something about this. As much as we agree that this is a very inconsiderate action, neither the board nor CMA has any recourse to this action without specific information.  In order to notify CMA to issue a violation, we must have either the dog owners name and/or address.  Also, if possible take a photo and include it, would be helpful.  Just a photo by itself, without any other information, renders us helpless to pursue the homeowner. All names of those filing a complaint are kept completely confidential as we protect the privacy of our homeowners.

The following are Previous News Articles but some have updated info,  you should review to stay informed…

Homeowners must be present with any visitors using the amenities

If you or your family bring or allow visitors to use the HOA amenities some adult from your household must be with them continuously while they are using the amenities.  We have had numerous occasions of visitors who are unaware of our rules and become offended when we tell them to follow the rules and procedures. Please help us with this issue.

New Game Day for the Ladies

Recently Elaine Drake set up a day once a month for the ladies to get together to chat and play games. The first one was June 28 and I heard it was fun and a success. Elaine normally posts the dates, times and particulars on Facebook. Next date is Sept. 27.

Paper Delivery

There have been some complaints about the Sunday ad papers that are delivered. If you don’t want these ads delivered, call them (AJC) at 404-522-4141 and tell them you want to cease delivery. They will stop delivering.

Tennis Court Usage

The tennis courts are made for playing tennis and pickleball. Any other activities can result in damage to the courts, nets, and fencing. Skateboarding and roller blades will result in damage to the surface.

Additionally, proper footwear is required to protect the surface and the user. The costs to maintain the courts are in the thousands and therefore we need to follow the procedures for playing at the courts. Please respect this amenity.

Changes in Renting the Clubhouse

A new rental form is on our website. A new Clubhouse Rental Form has been posted on our website for you to fill out if renting the clubhouse. Some holiday weekends that fall during pool season will limit the size of rental participants due to the need for parking spots for our residents. Be aware if you are trying to rent the clubhouse during those dates and have a large party function you will be denied a rental agreement. We will try to keep the calendar updated to indicate those days so you will be aware of them. Before asking to rent the clubhouse you should first check and see if it’s available on the calendar.

A few other changes include the hours to hold your event which will be a maximum of 6 hours. You will still be given all day access to set up and clean up but the event hours will be limited to 6 hours. Why? We have found events running long have built-in hazards especially if there are children and or alcohol involved. Children tend to get bored after a while and will create their own fun with whatever is available when other activities are not provided. Alcohol use after 6 hours is not safe for anyone and we don’t need the resulting problems that come with that. Additionally, when we looked at other community rentals they limit their times to 4 hours or less.

Changes in Renting the Clubhouse Cont’d

You must leave the clubhouse no later than 11:59 PM. If you overstay your time you could lose your deposit or be charged, at the least, another day rental.

Also, the furniture must stay in the clubhouse and not be put outside the clubhouse. The rolling chairs were purchased at over $700 apiece and we do not need them outside and being used as toys. If you are having participants i.e. young children you may want to use the fold-out tables and chairs for their use.

When you rent the clubhouse, you are responsible for the heating and cooling system.  Make sure to return to its original setting. If you change the temperature the system will accommodate your desire and eventually return to the settings we have established when not in use. If you change the temperature and hit “hold”, that temperature will continue until someone releases it. This causes an unnecessary cost to all of us because of the renter not releasing the hold. Your compliance in this is expected and could affect your $200 deposit.

Additionally, if you do damage to the facility we need to know immediately. If you don’t notify us we may not be able to repair the damage because of the amount of time that has elapsed, especially with stains. In those cases, you will be assessed the cost of either replacing the property or fixing it.

We believe these changes will preserve the investments we made in the clubhouse and will provide better guidelines to the homeowner renting the facility.

Pickle Ball

The pickleball group has suspended playing on Saturdays at 9 AM as they try to get more players. If they start back playing the new hours may be pushed back to 10 AM. You can find out more about this group on our website. You can email Bob Dougherty @ bobron6@bellsouth.net for more information. New players are welcome. Paddles and balls are provided.

Bunco 6:30 PM

Bunco will resume on Sept. 22. Please bring $5 to play and a dish to share and whatever type of refreshment you’d like to drink while playing. Bunco is a simple dice game and can be easily learned during the playing of the game.

Free Library

In the walkway to the fitness room, a bookcase is full of books. The smaller one has children books. You may take a book to read or you may leave a book for others to read. Feel free to use this trade-off. Tracy Gibson is the owner of this process you can contact her at tracy@ink-jam.com

 

Thanks for reading,

Don Roach, President and the Board of Centennial Commons

JANUARY 2018 – President’s Letter

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Happy New Year!!! The Board wishes a blessed 2018 for all our residents. Thanks to all of you who helped make 2017 a good year for the HOA. This letter consists mostly of voting information. Your HOA needs your vote. Our covenants require a 25% participation of our 300 homeowners which would be 75 homes. Unfortunately, not all votes will be able to be counted for one reason or another. So it’s always good to have more than needed to ensure we have the required votes. Thanks in advance for taking the time to vote.

The Board will meet in executive session before voting day to handle some ongoing issues. The only open meeting will be on Jan. 22. This is the fourth Monday of January vs. our normal third Monday scheduled date. This is due to all our Board members not being able to attend on the scheduled date. The correct date and time for this meeting is posted on the bulletin board at the entrance of the community. A sign will be posted sometime the week before the voting takes place to remind everyone. Thanks to Bill Drake for performing those tasks.

Don Roach, President

 

Annual Meeting Reminder

Recently (December, 2017) homeowners should have received an annual meeting reminder in the mail. Inside the letter should be an agenda for the meeting on January 22, 2018, a proxy and a 2018 estimated budget. If you haven’t received this you need to contact CMA immediately to get your copy or we will have copies at the clubhouse on Jan. 22, 2018.

Board Election January 2018

Please vote!!!! We will need over 75 residents to vote on or before January 22, 2018, on the enclosed proxy that came with the mailing of the annual meeting reminder (there will be copies of the proxy at the clubhouse and a board member to help you if needed).

Once filled out you can:
1. Drop it off at 5247 Centennial Hill Drive at the HOA mailbox by the garage,
2. Send it to CMA,
3. Drop it off or fill out a copy provided at the clubhouse between the hours of 7 AM and 7 PM on Monday, Jan 22,
4. Bring it with you to the meeting, if attending, and give it to someone taking the proxies.

Proxy information – If you are not attending the meeting, you will need to leave the top line blank on the proxy:

  1. The Board then will vote your selections, or
  2. You can appoint someone that will be attending the meeting as your proxy holder. If you write someone’s name in there they have to be a resident in good standing (i.e. current with their fees), they must attend the meeting, and they must be present at 7 PM.

You are able to vote for the current Board listed on the proxy or you can write in a candidate(s) on your proxy. No more than 5 names can be selected or written in. If we have the appropriate number of votes we will have CMA and a volunteer(s) who will count the votes from the proxies and the 5 persons who garner the most votes will be the 2018 Board. Thanks for voting…

Cars parked in Clubhouse Lot

Any cars parked in the clubhouse parking lot without permission will be tagged and if left overnight can be towed. If you have to park yours or another vehicle for whatever reason, you need to contact a Board Member or leave a note in your car that someone can see and read that addresses your issue and who you are and when you expect to move your vehicle. We understand homeowners will have occasions where they have to have extra parking space, but without prior approval, you are taking a chance that you will be parking in the lot when we have an event planned. In that case, we may tow even if you leave a note in the car. It’s best to notify the Board of your intent and get prior approval.

Late payments

I’ve added this again as we have had some residents recently who try to rent the clubhouse and were delinquent. If you are late with your payments your access to the benefits of the subdivision will be suspended until you become current. This includes access to the amenities including clubhouse rentals. If you continue to fall behind you will be turned over to collections by CMA. If you have come under tough financial conditions you can call CMA and work out a payment plan until what time things are better financially for you. This will keep you from being sent to the collection agency. Remember this help is not a way for you to avoid paying. It is assistance during times when you are struggling to meet your commitments. CMA will require you to define your relief time and payment structure.

Homeowners must be present with any visitors using the amenities If you or your family bring or allow visitors to use the HOA amenities some adult from your household must be with them continuously while they are using the amenities. We have had numerous occasions of visitors who are unaware of our rules and become offended when we tell them to follow the rules and procedures. Please help us with this issue.

AT&T Construction

As you are aware the cable/phone company AT&T was laying fiber throughout our community. We have had questions on who to contact if there are issues with the work being done. The number is 855-520-1757.

Easement Update

Work on the new subdivision was planned to begin November 1. The developer states that he will begin sometime in early 2018. The easement work may include some partial lane closures at the entrance to our community. We will communicate that when it is close to happening.

Pickle Ball

The pickle ball group is playing on Saturdays at 9 AM. You can find out more about this group on our website. You can email Bob Dougherty at bobron6@bellsouth.net for more information. New players are welcome.

Bunco

Next Bunco is Saturday, January 13th at 6:30pm in the clubhouse.

Bunco is a simple dice game that is played once a month on a Saturday at the clubhouse. Based on your luck at rolling dice determines if you’re a winner. You rotate from table to table changing partners and we take breaks between the 4 games to socialize. Meet and greet is between 6:30 and 7 PM. At 7 PM we start rolling dice. If you’re interested in some fun and a chance to get to know some neighbors, bring $5 a person, your favorite dish to share with others and your own drinks to join in the fun. Watch the bulletin board at the entrance for the dates. We usually finish around 9:30 PM.

Free Library

In the walkway to the fitness room, a bookcase is full of books. You may take a book to read or you may leave a book for others to read. Feel free to use this trade-off. Tracy Gibson is the owner of this process you can contact her at email@tracypgibson.com.

Christian Video Study Group

Starting January 17th – Christian Video Study Group for Centennial Commons residents (nondenominational) will be held on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30 pm. If interested, contact Sirena Courtney at sirenacourtney@yahoo.com.

Thanks for reading,
Don Roach, President and the Board of Centennial Commons

New Years Celebration!

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with your Centennial Commons neighbors!  Join in the fun with games: blackjack, Rummikub, cards, etc.  Prizes for the winners at the end of the night as we bring in the New Year.  Just bring your own beverage of choice and a dish to share.
Time:     8:00 p.m.
Where:  Centennial Commons Clubhouse
Thank you,
Centennial Commons HOA Board

DECEMBER 2017 – President’s Letter

Recently our homeowners should have received an annual meeting reminder in the mail. Inside there
should have been an agenda for the meeting on January 22, 2018, a proxy and a 2018 estimated budget. If
you haven’t received this you need to contact CMA immediately to get your copy.

I cannot believe 2017 is coming to a close. This has been a good year for the subdivision. While we have
faced some expensive repairs (it always can be worse) we made some major improvements to the
property at minimal costs.

Our volunteer base has expanded and made the heavy workload of a few to a light workload of many. As
we continue to work through many experiences we are able to get help from many of our gifted residents
to solve or fix these problems. Or in some cases begin new social interactions that allow the community
to share with each other in various ways, i.e. book exchange, water aerobics and pickle ball to name a few.
As always, I hope you can make the open association meeting on the 3 rd Monday of each month @ 7 PM
where the Board explains all the issues facing the community. If you can’t make the meeting it is
important for you to read through this newsletter as it contains many of the areas that are covered at the
meeting. Thanks for reading.

Don Roach, President

Board Election January 2018
Please vote!!!! We will need over 75 residents to vote before or on January 22, 2018 with the proxy sent to
you. Once filled out you can drop it of at 5247 Centennial Hill Drive at the HOA mailbox by the garage, or send
it to CMA or you can drop it off at the clubhouse between the hours of 7 AM and 7 PM on Monday, Jan 22. If
you are not attending, you will need to leave the top line blank so the Board can vote your selections or you can
appoint someone that will be attending as your proxy holder. If you write someone’s name in there they have to
be a resident in good standing i.e. current with their fees and attending the meeting and will be there at 7 PM.
You are able to vote for the current Board or you can write in a candidate on your proxy. If we have the
appropriate number of votes we will have CMA and a volunteer or two will count the votes from the proxies
and the 5 persons who garner the most votes will be the 2018 Board. Thanks for taking the time to vote…

Late payments
I’ve said this before but I will address it again. If you are late with your payments your access to the benefits of
the subdivision will be suspended until you become current. This includes access to the amenities including
clubhouse rentals. If you continue to fall behind you will be turned over to collections by CMA. We allowed
CMA to use this tool to reduce our legal costs. It is not fair to the rest of the residents to pay to make others pay
on time.

If you have come under tough financial conditions you can call CMA and work out a payment plan until what
time things are better financially for you. This will keep you from being sent to the collection agency.
Remember this help is not a way for you to avoid paying it is assistance during times when you are struggling to
meet your commitments. CMA will require you to define your relief time and payment structure.

Vandalism and unauthorized entry
If you or your family or someone you have authorized to use your key access card damage our amenities or use
force or avoid the security system to enter the amenities you will be fined and face a possible suspension of
access to the HOA amenities. In addition to those penalties, the HOA will assess any costs to repair your acts of
vandalism or destruction, including legal costs incurred and we may reach out to the local authorities for
possible criminal ramifications. We have enough issues with outsiders vandalizing our property without
homeowners who believe they can do whatever they want without regard to our property and assets.

Cars and discarded furniture on Woodstock
We have had complaints about the truck parking, cars for sale and furniture being discarded across from our
entrance on Woodstock Rd. I have contacted the Cherokee County Marshall office before but it continues to
happen. One of our residents also contacted them recently and I’ll take the liberty to post what she wrote from
Facebook as I know not everyone is on that social communication. I will not state her name as I’m not sure she
would want me too.

Here is what was posted:
For those in the neighborhood that have been trying to get rid of the used cars and the dump across from our
subdivision I have good news. Today I found out this property is in Cherokee Co and also found out it used to
belong to Centennial Lakes but was bought back by Cherokee Co roads and bridges. I had a very nice Cherokee
Co deputy call me twice today to keep me informed as to what is going to happen. The cars and dump are
illegal. They will try to find the owners of the cars and give them 15 days to get them moved. He is also
contacting the Cherokee Co Dept. of bridges and roads to get all the items that have been dumped hauled away.
I know many of my neighbors were calling Cobb Co numerous times to no avail. I called Cobb Co Dept. of
Transportation today and that is when I found that the area was probably in Cherokee although he was going to
send someone out to look at it. In the meantime I called Cherokee Co who got me in touch with the Marshall’s
office and Eureka! What a difference there was in talking with Cobb and Cherokee. Cherokee Co had it solved
within a matter of 2 hrs.

Thank you to the resident that took the time to get this on its way to being fixed!

Landscaping News
Our final dressing of pine straw for the year will be distributed starting the week of December 6th. The
contractor will focus on distributing pine straw to the residences first and then finish up dressing the common
areas after that.

Our final turf treatment of the year for our front/side yards is happening on December 11 and is a liquid pre-
emergent to suppress weed germination. If you are one of the households that has signed up to also have your
backyards treated at the same time as the front/side yards, please ensure that you have your side gate unlocked
so Tru- Green can access your backyard. As always, the front and side yard turf treatments are no extra cost to
our residents but backyard treatments are $16/treatment. If you would like to sign up for your backyard to be
treated in the future you may call the Office Administrator, Linda Lane at 4 Seasons 770-452- 4455. The next
turf treatment in 2018 will likely be in February.

4 Seasons will be cutting back roses in January/February and will be trimming any bushes that have long
leaders but we will not be having a "hard pruning" done to any bushes this winter.

Santa for the kids
The social group will be holding a Children’s Christmas party on December 10 from 2-3 pm. Crafts/snacks and
a visit from Santa will occur at the clubhouse. Please bring a wrapped gift with your children’s name on it.
Preferably bring the gift before arriving with your child's name on it to the clubhouse. We will be at the
clubhouse an hour before Santa arrives if you’d like to bring the gift then or you can drop off the gift at 5258
Centennial Hill Drive prior to Saturday, December 10.
Remember the hours are from 2-3.

AT&T Construction
As you are aware the cable/phone companyAT&T was laying fiber throughout our community. We have had
questions on who to contact if there are issues with the work being done. The number is 855-520- 1757

Easement Update
Work on the new subdivision was planned to begin November 1. I’m surprised it hasn’t started. I will reach out
to the developer to see what the current timeline is. The easement work may include some partial lane closures
at the entrance to our community.

Home Sales
Home sales are extremely strong. Our subdivision homes are selling for asking price or close to and they are on
the market for less than 30 days. As we hear from many of our new homeowners they move here based on the
look of our subdivision. Our landscaping manager has a lot to do with that. Thank you Kathy!

Pickle Ball
The pickle ball group is playing on Saturdays at 9 AM. You can find out more about this group on our website.
You can email Bob Dougherty @ bobron6@bellsouth.net for more information. New players are welcome.

Bunco 6:30 PM
Bunco is a simple dice game that is played once a month on a Saturday at the clubhouse. Based on your luck on
rolling the dice determines if you’re a winner. You rotate from table to table changing partners and we take
breaks between the 4 games to socialize. We bring a dish to share with those playing and socialize between 6:30
and 7 PM. At 7 PM we start rolling dice. If you’re interested in some fun and a chance to get to know some
neighbors, bring $5 a person, your favorite dish and your own drinks to join in the fun. Watch the bulletin board
at the entrance for the dates. We usually finish around 9:30 PM.

Free Library
In the walkway to the fitness room a bookcase is full of books. You may take a book to read or you may leave a
book for others to read. Feel free to use this trade off. Tracy Gibson is the owner of this process you can contact
her at tracy@ink-jam.com.

Thanks for reading,
Don Roach, President and the Board of Centennial Commons

Bunko This Saturday Night!

CENTENNIAL COMMONS NEIGHBORHOOD BUNKO NIGHT
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, 6:30pm- 9:30pm at the Clubhouse

We welcome everyone, especially all the newbies to the community! Bunko is for female and male alike, and fun is to be had by all. It is an easy, fun, and social dice game for groups. Don’t know how to play? No worries! We will teach you.

What do you need to bring?

  • Yourself and your spouse or neighbor if you wish
  • $5 to contribute to the prize fund (yes there is a prize for the winner!)
  • A snack to share
  • Your own beverage (Yes, alcohol is permitted. Drink responsibly!)

Don’t forget…we will teach you how to play, and it is easy to learn.

Come and meet your neighbors this Saturday, Oct. 21 at 6:30! Look forward to seeing you there!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween Centennial Commons!

Please remember when you are driving home from work or driving in and out of the neighborhood that there will be small children out and about! We want everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween!

Most trick-or-treaters begin around 6pm and shouldn’t be out past 9pm. (It is encouraged that you turn off your porch lights if you are not participating in handing out candy and do not want visitors ringing your doorbell.)

***Parents – watch your children! Children – Watch for cars! Drivers – watch your speed and watch for pedestrians!***

Just a few safety tips to keep you and your family safe*:

ALL DRESSED UP:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

CARVING A NICHE:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.

HOME SAFE HOME:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
    • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

HEALTHY HALLOWEEN:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.

*2017 American Academy of Pediatrics