Halloween is just around the corner. With eccentric costumes and a bag filled with candies, it is a day of fun for kids yet a day of anxiety for parents. Days are shorter and darker in October in many areas in Canada and the US so it is important to stay extra alert during trick-or-treating at night. These safety tips will help keep everyone safe, and make good memories.
For Kids and Teens
Stay warm & Wear safe costumes
In some areas, the temperature could drop dramatically at night. Wear or bring a jacket or sweatshirt to stay warm at all times. Shoes also need to be well-fit, comfortable, and water-resistant. For costumes, avoid anything too tight, too thin, or with sharp, heavy, and/or dangerous accessories. Costume contact lenses are not recommended. For added safety measures, reflective costumes and/or clothing would be good for walking at night.
Never enter a home while trick-or-treating
Young, naive children or teenagers may not be able to resist an insistent invitation from an adult to come into their house. Teach your children that they must never enter a stranger’s home. Remind them that they need to clearly refuse the invitation and stay away from any conspicuous signs.
Know how to call for help
In the worst-case scenario, despite all your planning and preparation, your kids need to know how to call for help and how to do it fast. This includes teaching your child how to identify safe adults to depend on. They also need to know how to call 911 and clearly communicate with the operator.
More general tips
Bring a cell phone if possible.
Always travel in groups, at least 3 people at any time.
Set a curfew with parents.
Let your parents know where you are going to be.
Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, ensure to walk on the side.
Don't eat any treats before you arrive home. Ask your parents to look through your treats first for safety.
If your child is young, you need to walk together: Young children (under 10 years old for a rule of thumb) should be accompanied by an adult for trick or treating. When you are walking with your child, make sure to stay on the sidewalk or the side of the road to avoid traffic at all times. Always hold your child's hand and do not get distracted by playing with your phone. It is also highly advised that parents wear reflective clothing to be more visible to drivers passing by.
Drive safely: If you are driving, avoid driving residential areas if possible. If you need to drive in residential areas, drive extra slowly to prevent any unfortunate accidents. Turn your headlight on. Avoid distracted driving at all costs.
Check your child's candy: Thoroughly check your child's candy after trick-or-treating. Any open or unsealed items should be discarded. Carefully check the candy's ingredients especially if your child has allergies.
Turn on outdoor lights.
Remove any big, heavy items from your front yard or porch that might trip a child.
Sweep leaves from your driveway.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Always stay safe!