Halloween Safety: All the Gory Details
I don’t know about you, but the countdown to Halloween has already begun in my house! My kids are planning their costumes, who they will go trick-or-treating with, and the best route to take to get the maximum treat payload in our neighbourhood.
With all the fun and excitement (and sugar) though, Halloween sometimes gets a bad rap. Google “Halloween safety” and all kinds of scary stuff can come up: creeps in costume, sharp blades in candy, vandalism, and more. A couple isolated incidents make the news and that can have some parents nervous about trick-or-treating.
The fact is, Halloween is no more dangerous than any other day of the year, so it’s important to embrace the spirit and fun of it with your kids! Every year, I go over a few ground rules with my kids that will help them enjoy trick-or-treating with a reduced chance of an injury.
Here are a few of our favourite tips:
- Children under age 9 should trick or treat with an adult; children over age 9 should go with a group of older children or a responsible adult.
- Walk with your young children instead of following behind them in your car. It’s more fun and the fewer cars on the street that night, the better!
- Help your kids be visible to cars by giving them glow sticks or small lights to carry or wear, or reflective tape or stickers. Carrying a flashlight or LED lantern is especially helpful if you live in a more rural area with no sidewalks, limited street lighting or big distances between homes.
- Don’t give glow sticks to children under 3 years old who may put them in their mouths. The liquid inside glow sticks can cause skin irritations if the stick leaks.
- Remind kids wearing masks to lift them up so they can see crossing the street, traversing yards and climbing steps. They can pull the mask down as they ring the doorbell! For small children, face make-up may be a more convenient option.
- Know where your older kids are planning to go as a group and what time they are coming back. Cell phones are a great way to stay in touch.
- Remind kids that it’s always safer to trick or treat along one side of the street, then cross the street and do the other side, instead of criss-crossing back and forth across the road.
- For young kids, it’s still a good idea to check over their candy before they dig into it! You might want to remove candy that you don’t recognize or that looks odd, is unwrapped, etc.
And one more thing…
At Child Safety Link, our mission is to help reduce the incidence and severity of unintentional injuries to kids in the Maritimes. We don’t believe in “bubblewrapping” kids (although we made costumes from bubblewrap last Halloween, see pic below!), and are not trying to prevent the normal bumps and bruises of childhood. Rather, our goal is to help prevent major, life-changing injuries by sharing practical safety tips and information with parents and caregivers. For more information about Child Safety Link and the work we do, visit us at www.childsafetylink.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And…please don’t forget to “Like” this Blog site so you can stay updated with the latest news and trends re. children’s injury prevention in the Maritimes!