Halloween is an old and favourite tradition, but the excitement of the night can cause some children to forget to be careful. Safety starts even before children go out on Halloween night.
Grey County OPP offer the following safety tips for children, parents and motorists.
– Halloween costumes should not have a mask. It restricts the child’s sight and restricts their view of traffic dangers. Washable face paint is preferable as it allows a child to see their surroundings better.
– Ensure that the costume is not oversized as the child can trip on the fabric. The fewer the accessories the better. No oversized shoes or high heels.
– The costume should have reflective tape on it so they can be seen by motorists. If reflective tape isn’t available, carry a flashlight or a glow stick.
– Small children should never go out alone. Go ‘trick or treating’ when it’s still light outside and go in a group. After dark, young children should always be accompanied by a parent or a responsible adult.
– Older children should plan a safe route with friends. Set a specific time to be home and let your parents know what that time will be.
– Stay in neighbourhoods that you know and are familiar with. Only go to homes that are well lit. If the home is in darkness, pass it by.
– Do not go into homes or apartments, even if you’re invited.
– Be cautious of strangers and vehicles on the street.
– Do not run from door to door and don’t cut across front lawns. There may be objects or other obstructions which you may not see and cause you to trip.
– Obey the safety rules when crossing the street. Don’t run out between parked cars.
– Cross at intersections and areas that are well lit.
– Children should not snack on their treats while trick or treating. Take your entire Halloween loot home and have your parents inspect it. Look for wrappers that may have been tampered with, pin holes in packages, loose or torn wrappers. If you’re suspicious of them, throw them out. Although homemade caramel popcorn balls, cookies, and candy apples are nice and usually well intended by the giver, they can also be dangerous. Throw them out unless you know and trust who gave them to you.
Tips for Parents:
– Parents, ensure your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out on their own and that they are trick or treating in a group.
– It’s recommended that a parent or a responsible adult accompany small children, even when in a group.
– Before the children go trick or treating, make sure that the child has eaten. This may prevent them from eating their treats while they are out. Caution them not to eat anything before you’ve had a chance to inspect it.
– If older children are going out without the company of a parent or responsible adult, know who they are with. Instruct them to stay together and stay on a planned route. Have them only go in areas that they are familiar with.
– Review the safety rules relating to traffic and strangers.
– Provide your child with a flashlight or glow stick and, at the very least attempt to ensure that their costume is light or bright in colour and has reflective strips attached to it.
– When you greet trick or treaters at your door, make sure the area is well lit. Pick up any obstructions on the yard such as garden hoses, bicycles, or tools, which may pose a tripping hazard.
Tips for Motorists:
– During Devil’s Night and Halloween … if you witness any suspicious behaviour, call police immediately.
– Drive slowly and be alert, especially in residential areas. During the excitement of trick or treating, children may dart out from between parked cars.
– Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
– Enter/exit driveways carefully.
– Expect the unexpected.
Have a Fun and Safe Halloween!!!!