A Fear-Free Fright Night!
Well, folks, the Halloween chill is in the air. Orange and black (and purple) are everywhere and, in just a few days, pirates, princesses, action heroes, and monsters big and small will be filling our residential streets and knocking on doors hoping for treats. Amidst all the fun and excitement, we need to recall our safety rules for this special night. Although, we’ve likely heard it all before, it can’t hurt to be reminded and might even save a life if we all were to follow these familiar guidelines…
Remember that on Halloween our pets need to be safe, too.Please keep them inside on Halloween night – there will be lots of scary characters out and about, as well as traffic, and loud, unfamiliar noises that might cause them stress. And be sure that your pets are wearing identification collars in case they happen to slip through the door when you open it to trick-or-treaters. If at all possible, keep them comfortable in another part of the house to prevent this from happening.
- Reflective, Reflective, Reflective – The 3 R’s of Halloween dressing for trick-or-treaters. You can add strips or shapes of reflective tape to trick-or-treat bags and costumes to make your little goblin more visible.
- Flame Resistant – Check labels on costumes and wigs to ensure they are fire retardant.
- Warm Wear – Thermal underwear underneath costumes is perfect for cool-weather haunting.
- Fit-Well Footwear – Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and falls and are not restrictive to movement.
- Make-up Not Masks: Non-toxic/hypoallergenic creative face make-up and festive hats or decorative headbands are a safer alternative to masks that can interfere with your goblins’ vision at night.
- Have a full “spooky” dinner before heading out to trick-or-treat. Children will be less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them if they’ve already eaten a satisfying meal.
- Flashlights for Everyone – Load them with fresh batteries for trick-or-treaters and for chaperones.
- Make a Plan – A parent should plan the route for a well-known neighbourhood, and a responsible adult should always accompany young ghouls and goblins and stick to the route. Stay in a group – trick-or-treating together is more fun anyway! Walk slowly and communicate to each other where next you are going along the pre-planned route. Remain only on well-lit streets and only approach homes that have a porch light on.
- NEVER approach or enter a stranger’s car for a treat.
- NEVER enter a stranger’s home for a treat.
- ALWAYS walk and don’t run across a street.
- Walk only on sidewalks and facing oncoming traffic.
- Use only crosswalks or an intersection when crossing the street.
- Don’t dart in and out between parked cars.
- Avoid shortcuts between back alleys and back yards. Stay on main streets where there are streetlights and plenty of other residential lighting.
- Save the rollerblading, skateboarding or bicycling for another time.
- Ensure kids understand NOT to eat the candy they collect until a parent has had a chance to check through it all.
- Everyone who is old enough should know their home address and phone number in case they happen to get lost.
- Someone in the group should have a cell and parents should have the cell phone number.
- 911 can be dialed FREE from any phone.
- Leave the pumpkin carving (with sharp knives) to the adults. It’s much safer to just let the kids scoop out the pumpkin and simply draw a face on it, or use stickers and sequins especially for this purpose (Michael’s).
- Battery-powered jack o’ lantern candles/lights are safer than candles. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended and always keep them far away from drapes, flammable materials such as paper or fabric decorations, or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.
- Take a few moments beforehand to remove any tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check your property for overturned flower pots, overgrown shrubbery, broken or low-hanging tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to trick or treaters.
- SLOW DOWN and drive below the posted speed limit, if necessary.
- Be on the look-out as early as 4:00 pm for tiny ghouls and goblins, especially near intersections and crosswalks, and also watch for them darting into the streets in their excitement.
- SLOW DOWN.
- Drive sober.
- Report to the police anyone whom you think might be driving impaired.
- SLOW DOWN.
- Buckle up.
- SLOW DOWN.