As we know it today, the celebration that takes place on October 31st is a fun opportunity to dress up, be festive, and even indulge in some seasonal treats. Parents and children alike get to play their favourite characters for a day, or even try to spook some of their friends and family with costumes, scary stories, or festive surprises! Although this holiday is intended to be fun, we should all be aware of the precautions needed to ensure that the costumes are the only frightening things we experience on Halloween.
When it comes to Halloween activities, Trick or Treating is easily a favourite. We can all remember when it was our turn to run door-to-door collecting our treats, and couldn’t wait to go through all our goodies as soon as we got home. Now that the tables have turned and it is our turn as parents to take our children out for their Trick or Treat rounds of the neighbourhood, we must not forget that this fun tradition can not come at the expense of the safety of the children.
According to the National Safety Council, the number one cause of injuries on Halloween night is due to accidental trips and falls, from: hems of costumes, unseen steps, curbs, and objects. Even more frightening, is the amount of accidents that occur between pedestrians and automobiles on Halloween night; in fact, more than any other night of the year.
This holiday is one children should be able to embrace and enjoy full heartedly. It is up to us as parents to understand the possibility for safety issues during this time, and discuss and address all possible problem areas with your child before taking them out for their night of Trick or Treating. By being prepared and checking off some Halloween Safety tips, you will be able to put yourself at ease, and enjoy this night with your children as well.
Check out our Halloween Safety Tips for your children:
- Select the right costume – When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size and fit for your child. To prevent accidental trips and falls, the hemline should not be dragging on the ground at the bottom, and the headpiece (if any) should not slip forward and cover your children’s eyes, blocking their vision.
- Use reflective tape – Decorate your child’s costume, candy bag, or costume accessories with reflective tape wherever possible, to ensure light is bouncing off them and they are seen when the sun starts to go down. Glow sticks work for this purpose as well.
- Dress in bright colours – Your child’s costume may not allow the wear of light or bright colours, but try to choose this option wherever possible. In a pinch, make sure you are wearing bright colours as well so others are seeing you while you walk with your child from house to house.
- Avoid masks – While masks are very fun and can sometimes complete a costume, they also work to obstruct your child’s view while Trick or Treating. If possible, use non-toxic face paint or makeup in place of a mask. If the mask is non-negotiable, suggest your child wear the mask pulled up on their head as they walk between houses, and pull it down over their face while they are at a doorstop and at a full walking stop.
- Check all candy – This is a tip that is often and easily forgotten by excited children, both during Trick or Treating and upon arriving home with their bounty of treats. Make sure you are carefully checking each piece of candy or treat your child receives before they consume it. Anything that is unwrapped, unmarked, hard to identify, or looks previously opened and then rewrapped should be disposed of immediately. Remind your child of the importance of checking all their candy both before you head out Trick or Treating, and as soon as you arrive home.
- Look both ways – Often, you will follow the sidewalk from house to house while Trick or Treating in your neighbourhood. When it comes time to cross the street at any point, remember that the same safety rules still apply. Looking both ways and checking for cars or bicycles can help to avoid an unfortunate accident.
- Drive slowly – This last safety tip is more for you, parents, than for your children. The most popular Trick or Treat times are between 5:30pm, and 9:30pm. If you don’t happen to be taking your child out and are driving during this time, remember to be especially alert for children during these hours. Driving slowly and taking a more cautious approach to corners and blind spots could prevent an accident with a Trick or Treater.
These are just a few tips to help you have a safe and happy Halloween out Trick or Treating with your children. Are there any other special precautions or rules you are careful to follow during Halloween to keep your young ones safe? Please, share with us in the comments below!