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How to keep your halloween safe
In the old days your mom just threw a sheet over your head, cut out two eye-holes, and away you went. But then the costumes got fancier, the candy got better, and now your neighbour’s yard looks like the set of a Hollywood horror film. Somewhere along the way, Halloween became a competitive sport.
With so many miniature zombies and minions running wild in the streets, drivers need to be extra cautious, especially in residential areas. Parents can up their game as well, by adapting costumes to be visible in the shadows and teaching children to practice safe trick-or-treating.
Here are some Halloween safety tips to cover off everything but the sugar rush:
See and be seen:
- Plan a light-coloured costume or add bright reflective strips to be more visible to drivers. Glow sticks can brighten up a dark costume.
- Heavy masks can affect your child’s vision – opt for face paint instead of masks and make sure peripheral vision is clear. Always lift up your mask to cross the street.
- If your little ghouls are flying solo this year, walk through the route with them early in the week, and have set times for them to check-in.
- Front yard frights are part of the fun, but make sure your walkway and yard are clear of tripping hazards like tools, cords and debris.
- Have a safe, quiet (indoor) place for your pets. Strangers and costumes may put them on edge.
Be street smart:
- Trick-or-treating is more fun with friends. Make sure your kids travel in a group, stay together, and don’t approach houses that do not have a light on.
- Reinforce that if someone invites them to come in the house or to get into a car to warm up, say thanks but no thanks, and report it to an adult.
- Cross only at crosswalks or safe corners. Point to indicate your intent to cross, pause to double-check and make eye contact with driver, then proceed only after all traffic is stopped.
- Never walk at night with headphones, and avoid instagramming, snap-chatting or selfie-sticking unless you are safely away from traffic.
If you have to drive, stay focused:
- Stay home, watch a scary movie, hand out treats and leave the car in the garage.
- If you do hit the streets, expect the unexpected. Watch out for children jaywalking, crossing driveways and stepping out from behind parked vehicles.
- Make eye contact with pedestrians. Masks, costumes and the ‘Candy Distraction Disorder’ can reduce a child’s view of the road. If you aren’t 100% sure, play it safe and give pedestrians the right of way.
- Avoid distractions like cell phones and give Mr. Bluetooth the night off. If you head out to a party, put the keys away and use a designated driver service to find a safe ride home.