Halloween is an exciting time for children, but with the distractions of ghoulish goblins and candy, safety rules often take the back burner. It’s important to give your children a quick reminder of simple safety tips to keep Halloween night a safe and fun night for all.
Tips for parents:
1) Children under the age of nine should always be accompanied by an adult or an older teenager. They should be especially mindful of crossing the street and staying out of drivers’ blind spots.
2) Ensure your child is stopping at the curb and watching and listening for oncoming traffic before crossing. Children can get excited and easily distracted, and should never rely on traffic signals alone. From a very young age, you can teach your children that roads are for cars and sidewalks are for kids. If your community doesn’t have sidewalks, walking beside the road at night can be very dangerous – adult accompaniment and flashlights are a must, regardless of the child’s age.
3) Children should only wear a properly-fitted costume that is bright and non-flammable. Select bright costumes to increase your child’s visibility, and opt for face paint over masks. Use reflective tape on the costume so your child can be seen in the dark.
4) Plan a route, a time to be home, and make sure they stay close to home. Visit only the front doors of well-lit homes and never go inside.
5) Check through your child’s treats before you allow them to eat anything. Anything that is homemade or looks to be tampered with should be thrown away.
6) Lastly, if you need assistance, speak to a police officer or go to a red Rogers van. Starting at dusk this Halloween, the Rogers Pumpkin Patrol will be back patrolling local neighbourhoods. Staffed by employee volunteers, they keep a watchful eye on little goblins, pirates and monsters in case they need help.
Tips for drivers:
1) Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be crossing the street. The faster you are driving, the less likely you are to see a pedestrian, and the more difficult it is for you to stop in an instant.
2) Eliminate all distractions and stay alert. All of your concentration should be on the roads – not your cell phone or radio.
3) Keep an eye out for kids, many of whom will be wearing masks that make it difficult for them to see. Children often forget safety rules with the excitement of Halloween, so keep an eye out for kids in unexpected places.
4) Lastly, be mindful of your surroundings when entering and exiting driveways. Excited kids run along the sidewalks, so back out of your driveway with caution.
What do you teach your kids before heading out trick or treating? Share your suggestions in the comments below!