Tips to Ensure a Safe and Spooky Halloween Season

Halloween, a beloved occasion second only to Christmas for many children and youth and cherished as the ultimate holiday by some kids and adults, offers an array of delightful activities. Whether your enthusiasm revolves around crafting or acquiring the ideal costume, strategizing to gather the most candy, or experiencing the sheer delight of observing neighbourhood kids in their spooky attire while handing out treats, it's essential to prioritize safety to ensure everyone has a fantastic time.

Here are some valuable tips for a safe and enjoyable Halloween:

For Parents:

Opt for Face Paint Over Masks: Discourage the use of Halloween costume masks as they can hinder a child's vision, making it challenging to navigate their surroundings, including traffic and potential tripping hazards. Instead, consider using non-toxic makeup or face paint for creative and safer alternatives.

Choose Light-Colored Costumes: Select light-coloured costumes for children to enhance their visibility, especially in the dark.

Apply Reflective Tape: Add strips of reflective tape to both the front and back of your child's costume to make them more visible to drivers.

Weather-Appropriate Attire: Ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather conditions to avoid discomfort and illness.

Properly Fitting Costumes: Prevent tripping and falls by ensuring your child's costume fits them properly.

Choking Hazard Awareness: Be cautious with gum and hard candy, which can pose a choking risk for younger children.

Supervision for Solo Trick-or-Treaters: If your child is trick-or-treating without adult supervision:

· Encourage them to go with a buddy or, ideally, a group of three or more.

· Provide them with a flashlight and, if possible, a cell phone.

· Map out their route and have an agreement for them to call if they go beyond the planned path.

· Set a curfew and ensure they have a way to keep track of time (watch, cell phone, Fitbit, etc.).

· Emphasize not eating any treats until they return home safely.

For Children/Youth:

Candy Carrying: Use a white bag or pillowcase to collect candy, and consider adding reflective tape for added visibility.

Weather-Appropriate Dress: Dress in weather-appropriate clothes to stay comfortable.

Group Travel: Travel in groups, with three or more being ideal.

Stay Accountable: Make sure your parents are aware of your whereabouts at all times.

Stranger Danger: Never enter a stranger's house under any circumstances.

Stay on the Sidewalk: Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible to avoid potential traffic hazards.

Safe Street Crossing: Cross streets methodically, sticking to one side before moving to the other.

Allergies Awareness: Inform the person handing out treats of any allergies you may have and carry an EpiPen if necessary. Ensure your friends know how to assist you in case of an emergency.

Wait for Inspection: Do not consume any treats until your parents have had a chance to inspect them for safety.

For Homeowners:

Illuminated Entry: Turn on your outdoor lights and replace any burnt-out bulbs to provide a well-lit and welcoming environment.

Safety First: Remove any potential tripping hazards from your yard or porch to prevent accidents.

Candle Alternatives: Light your pumpkins using alternatives to open flames, such as flashlights or battery-operated candles, for added safety.

Allergy Consideration: Be mindful that some children may have food allergies, so consider offering peanut-free treats or non-candy items like stickers, erasers, or small toys.

Follow these tips this Halloween to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

The Grizzly Gazette wishes everyone a spooky and safe Halloween!

Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette