Staying safe this Halloween

With mummies, skeletons, and vampires descending on neighbourhoods across Canada this weekend for the second time since the COVID-19 pandemic spooked the world, it’s time to think about how you can keep trick-or-treating safe and fun for everyone. The Canadian Red Cross is offering caregivers safety tips to help prepare children for a safe holiday:


– Costumes should be light-coloured and flame resistant with reflective strips so that children are more easily seen at night. Remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too.


– Costumes should be short enough to avoid tripping.


– Remind children to keep away from open fires and candles. Costumes can be extremely flammable.


– Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover the eyes.


– Remind children to walk, slither, and sneak on sidewalks — not in the street.


– Explain to children that trick-or-treating should be done along one side of the street first and then the other and that it’s best to cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks.


– Remind children to look both ways before crossing the street to check for cars, trucks, and low-flying brooms.


– Provide yourself or the children with a flashlight to see better and to be better seen.


– Have children plan their route and share it with you and the family.


– Trick or Treaters should travel in groups of four or five. Young children should be accompanied by an adult.


– Visit homes that have the porch light on.


– Make sure children know they should accept treats at the door only and must not get into cars or enter the homes or apartments of strangers.


– Remind children not to eat their treats and goodies until they are examined by an adult at home. And candy should not be eaten if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.


– Set agreed-to boundaries with your children. Explain the importance of staying within them and arriving home on time.


The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs recommends keeping the following in mind this Halloween:


– Dangerous Décor: Jack-o-lanterns represent a fire hazard. Instead of using a candle inside of the Jack-o-lantern, place a small flashlight or battery-powered candle inside


– Don’t Blow It: When it comes to powering Halloween decorations, it’s easy to go overboard. But overloading extension cords and breakers is a fire hazard.


– Strength in Numbers: While always advised to have a parent present, at some point kids will want to trick-or-treat on their own. Give yourself peace of mind and make sure there is a party of at least three people.


– Know the Route: The temptation to collect as much candy as possible is understandable but ill-advised. The safest option is to limit trick-or-treating to well-known neighbourhoods.


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