Fall is upon us, and it means that Hallowe'en is rapidly approaching. For many around Ontario, this is a great time to get outside and enjoy the last taste of cool weather before the winter hits with a vengeance. For children everywhere, it is a great time to be creative and enter into a fantasy world of costumes, ghosts, and goblins. Of course, who can forget the age old tradition of trick or treating and all the candy that flows in and out of bags held out by excited, spooky little hands? Halloween is certainly fun for all who participate. For just one night every year, people from all walks of life, young and old alike, can act like kids and enjoy the festivities. With that in mind, it is important to stay safe so the festive night stays fun! Below are a few Halloween safety tips and advice to make this an event that you will cherish and remember fondly for years to come.
Tips for Safe Trick Or Treating
- Make sure that children always go out with a group of friends that you trust, and that they agree to stay together. Even more advisable is for the parents to walk with their children, particularly the younger ones.
- Those costumes can get quite dark at night, so put some reflective strips on them to make children highly visible. If possible, choose costumes that are light in color. To add to the mystique of the evening, carry a glow stick that doubles as a flashlight!
- Make sure your children know that they should only go to houses that have the lights on
- If children are wearing a mask as part of their costume, make sure the eye portion is cut out big enough that they can easily see where they are going
- This is one night where pets should be kept inside, if possible
- Parents should check all of the candy before allowing children to eat any
- Any candy that is not in its original wrapper should be thrown away and not eaten
- Any costume that is worn should not be so long that it might be tripped over
- When crossing the streets on Halloween night, special caution should be exercised. Also, remember that normal traffic rules do apply, so no jaywalking!
- Do not accept rides from strangers under any circumstances
- It is important to remind children that they are not to go inside anybody’s house- they should remain on the porch only
Making Sure That the Costume is Safe
The following guidelines can help as you prepare to take the kids out shopping for the special costume they've already designed in their mind!
- Costumes need to fit properly. This is important because children will be walking a lot, and you want to make sure they do not trip over anything, or can freely run, if it becomes necessary. If any of the fabric is in the way of the feet, trim it, pin it, or hem it up.
- Check the labels on any costume or accessory that you purchase. You want to make sure the costumes are flame retardant, because there used to be a time when weren't. This is important because you do not want the costume to catch on fire when your child gets near to a pumpkin that is lit up!
- Consider your shoes carefully. Remind your children that, while shoes are certainly an important part of the costume look, they need to be functional and comfortable, as well.
- Many costumes come with weapons as a main accessory. Make sure that these are safe, not sharp, and that they do not look too realistic!
Staying Safe on the Roads
Remember that Hallowe'en is increasingly becoming a holiday that everyone looks forward to, young and old alike! Often times, adults are having their own "grown-up" parties while the little ones are out and about collecting candy. This can put a lot of people out on the roads at any one time, perhaps more than any other night of the year. While this can be exciting and fun, there are some Hallowe'en safety tips that you should observe in order to stay safe out there.
- Be extra careful when driving through any intersection – There will be a lot of children out on the roads, and they are not always as careful as they should be. They are excited and might be more careless when it comes to road safety. Please be extra cautious, drive slowly and be on the constant look-out for little goblins who might have darted off course.
- Avoid using a cell phone – This is particularly true when you are driving in a neighbourhood that has lots of active trick-or-treaters. You need to remain focused on the road, and driving while on the phone only serves to distract you.
- Be calm and patient – This is a special event, so be relaxed and just go with the flow. If a car stops on the road for a moment, just be patient for a moment. It is quite possible that they are just dropping a few trick-or-treaters. Allow them to have their fun. A few moments of waiting won't hurt so pack your patience!
- Watch out for children on bicycles. There will be more bicycles on the road than normal on Hallowe'en night and not all of them are clearly visible. Again, vigilance and caution wins the day.
If you follow the above tips, you're sure to have a fun-filled evening with lots of excitement and smiles for everyone!