Halloween can be one of the most fun days of the year for a child — running around getting candy, or taking a spooky stroll through an elaborate home made haunted house — but it’s also a time for parents and kids to keep their guard up.
There’s plenty to celebrate, but just as much to worry about, including traffic in the dark, bullies stealing candy, and worst of all, deranged people who tamper with candy. That's why we've compiled a list of six safety tips to keep your kids — and yourself — safe this halloween.
1. Plan your route out and stay beside younger children. For older kids who might want to go out alone with some friends, make sure you know where they will be. Recommend sub-divisions and areas where traffic will be slower. You can persuade your children easily with the notion that there are more houses, meaning more candy.
2. Remind children to stay on the sidewalks and to follow all normal road safety rules, like looking both ways before they cross a road. For children, Halloween can seem like a time when the normal rules don’t apply. Make sure trick-or-treaters know the rules haven’t changed, even though their appearance has.
3. Wear reflective gear or use reflective tape on dark costumes. We understand this might take away from your Scream outfit, but it could save your life. There are lots of drivers on the roads during Halloween and it's also a time for parties. Do what you can to increase your visibility to drivers.
4. Check your children’s candy before you let them eat it, especially for smaller children. You never know what somebody might have done to the candy — and this also provides a prime opportunity to sneak a piece or two for yourself, or to take out that extra sugary candy you don’t want your children eating. If any candy looks suspicious, call the police right away. You might end up helping a child whose parents are less pro-active than you are, and there’s a chance the person will be caught.
5. Regarding costumes for younger children, ensure they have visibility through any masks they might be wearing, or use face paint as an alternative. Also, make sure any robes are not too long that the child might slip. It only takes one mistake to turn the night from scary to tragic.
6. Always be alert and aware and send children out with a flashlight if you can. If they’re responsible kids, send them with a cellphone. If they’re not responsible, go out with them.
Now that we've scared you a bit, go have fun. That's what Halloween is really about. Just remember to do it safely.
These tips were compiled from various sources including the Canada Safety Council (canadasafetycouncil.org).