Halloween Safety Tips
'Tis the season for ghosts and ghouls! But beware, with Halloween fast approaching the safety of your children should be foremost. Keep these useful safety tips in mind before heading out for your Halloween festivities.
Have fun but keep safe!
Around the house
Many people enjoy transforming their homes into eerie scenes. Be sure to keep the path leading up to your door free of obstacles for the little ones, especially those with masks and limited vision.
Keep pets indoors on Halloween to protect them from hazards and to protect 'trick or treaters'.
Before you light those candles in your pumpkin, consider using safety glow sticks. Nothing says creepy like a glowing jack-o-lantern.
It is important to remember that when helping a child pick out a costume or when choosing one for the grownups, safety should be top of mind.
- Wear a light-coloured or bright costume, reflective tape or arm bands to heighten visibility.
- Wear a costume that is properly fitted to reduce the chance of tripping on it.
- Select a costume that is constructed from flame-retardant materials.
- Make sure your vision is not restricted. Consider completing your costume with make-up rather than masks. Masks may require that the eye-holes be cut larger for the sake of good peripheral vision.
- Shoes should fit properly even if they do not go well with a costume.
- If a child's costume requires the use of props, such as a flexible-plastic sword, make sure the sharp tip is cut or filed round.
- Glow sticks are also an excellent method to increase a child's visibility. You might want to consider creating a fun necklace with string to ensure they will want to wear as part of their costumes.
- Accessorize with a flashlight.
- "Fake": Swords, knives and guns part of your costume? Make sure they look fake but remember, some people still may not be able to tell the difference.
Talk about being 'street smart' before your children go out.
- Before the kids hit the streets, it is important that parents be aware of the route that their children plan to follow.
- If you are unable to take them out yourself, consider asking another parent, an older sibling or babysitter to do the honours for you.
- Ensuring your child is wearing a watch also allows you to establish an agreed upon curfew.
- Teach your children to recognize the places along his/her route where they can obtain help: Police Station, Fire Station or any other well indicated public place.
- Stay on the sidewalks (If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left-hand side of the street facing traffic).
- Don't jaywalk. Use crosswalks whenever possible: Visit houses on one side of the street at a time and cross the street only at intersections or at marked crosswalks.
- Stop and check for cars before crossing the street.
- Discuss with your children what they should do to call home in case of emergency.
- Safety in numbers: Walk in groups and stay together.
- Stay on the outside: Never enter a house; only accept treats at the front door.
Bring your treats home
Save your treats: Wait until you get home before sampling your treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should check out all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items
Please be aware that in many BC communities, the use of fireworks is strictly prohibited by law.
Fireworks aren’t kids play: Each and every Halloween, an influx of children and adults end up at hospital emergency rooms for firework-associated injuries. Be extra careful when setting off fireworks.
Parents are urged to be alert to the many dangers posed to young people who are allowed to use fireworks at Hallowe'en.
- The bark isn’t always worse than the bite: Stay away from animals you don’t know.
- Pets get frightened on Halloween: Put them inside to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
- Expect the unexpected: slow down, look for pedestrians. The chances of getting into a serious or fatal collision are multiplied when there are lots of kids and teens out on the streets.
- Excited kids about: Remember that there will be more foot traffic on Halloween night and that most of it will be excited young children so leave yourself extra time to navigate residential streets.
- Plan your ride home. Don't drink and drive, with extra patrols on local streets you will get caught.
- Don't drink & drive: If you are planning to drink, drink responsibly.
- "Fake" Weapons in your costume? Choose fakes that look fake but always remember, not everyone can tell the difference.
To summarize, make your 'Trick or Treating' fun and safe
- Bring a flashlight;
- Walk instead of running;
- Do not cut across lawns or take short-cuts;
- Take masks off when walking from one house to the next;
- Do not go inside houses and do not get into vehicles;
- Only visit houses that are lit;
- Stay away from animals you are not familiar with; and
- Vandalism is not just a 'trick' - it is against the law and has consequences.
If you SEE something, SAY something. Halloween is popular with criminals too. While you are out in your neighbourhood, keep your eyes open for criminal or suspicious activity, including arson, vandalism and property damage, and report what you see to your local RCMP Detachment. In an emergency call 9-1-1.
Above all, have a safe and ghoulishly good Halloween!
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