While Halloween is one of the favourite nights of the year for kids of all ages, it can also be extremely dangerous if we forget to make safety our first priority.
One small mistake can not only ruin excitement of trick-or-treating for a small child, but it can also bring real horror to a family.
We need to protect the young people who will be so excited about dressing up in their Halloween costumes and collecting oodles of candy on Halloween night (Oct. 31).
That protection begins at home with the costumes.
We should help children pick out costumes that fit properly, keep them warm and are bright and colourful so they can be seen in the dark.
If the costumes are dark to enhance spookiness, they should be trimmed with reflective tape, so bigger trick-or-treaters and motorists can see them.
Nobody wants to knock down and injure a youngster.
The next most important precautionary rule is to make sure our little trick-or-treaters can see where they are going, so they don’t bump their heads on immovable objects or fall down stairs.
Parents should look through the mask to ensure their child’s vision isn’t impaired.
It is also important to ensure our children’s hearing isn’t being impaired by their costumes.
It is imperative parents walk with their children during the candy-collecting event, especially when they’re young.
This is when children can be trained and/or reminded about Halloween safety – walk don’t run, especially across roads; walk in groups so they are more visible to motorists; and use the sidewalk wherever possible.
Skip houses that don’t have lights on and don’t let them approach unfamiliar animals.
Your children may feel they’re too old to have an adult hang around while they trick-or-treat.
We should be there anyway because Halloween is a special night, and although it can be a lot of fun, it’s dark and can be chaotic.
Having a responsible adult around helps keep children safe.
Children get excited about their candy hauls; keep them happy hauls by checking their treats before they eat them.
If your child brings home fruit, make sure to wash and cut before eating. Avoid choking hazards for children less than five years by removing treats like hard candy, popcorn and nuts.
As homeowners, we need to make sure our walkways, steps and front yards are well lit and all obstacles, which could trip trick-or-treaters, have been removed.
When we are handing out candy, let’s remind the excited children to walk and not to run to the next house.
Motorists play a huge role in safety on Halloween Night and we have to be vigilant – every corner, parked vehicle or yard entrance can provide a frightening surprise.
We have to slow down and expect the unexpected.
Watch for the little ones who will likely not be watching for you.
If possible, choose another route to get where you are going, especially if you know the sidewalks and streets are going to be full of excited trick-or-treaters.
Parents who are going to have a fireworks display need to be extremely vigilant to ensure their children and their friends and neighbours’ children are not going to get burned or seriously injured.
Let’s all have a Happy Halloween.
And what the heck, let them eat some candy. We have two months until Christmas.