Happy Haunting: How to keep kids safe this Halloween

  Halloween can be scary. Forget about the gouls and witches (and the random Lady Gagas and Snookis) wandering the streets



Halloween can be scary. Forget about the gouls and witches (and the random Lady Gagas and Snookis) wandering the streets on October 31st. Health experts warn about car accidents, injuries, tampered candy, choking hazards and more.

Keep little ones safe, especially when crossing the road. Witch and vampire costumes are dark, but reflective stickers will help keep them visible to drivers. Made of plastic, the stick-ons (below) with fun graphics are 10 centimetres in diameter and temporarily cling to fabric bags and clothing. A pack of four is $1.99 and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart. You could also try a piece of reflective tape (found at any hardware store) on their treat bag.

To avoid falls and injuries, the BC Children’s Hospital says to make sure that your child’s costume ends above the ankles and that it fits properly (that includes the hat too, so it doesn’t slip down above their eyes). Makeup is better for kids than vision-impairing masques. And only let them go up to homes where the porches and front stairs are well-lit and clear of messy, slippery leaves. Download the BC Children’s Hospital Halloween safety check list.

Health Canada also warns about candy treats. They suggest tossing baked goods, opened packages and choking hazards (such as chewy candies, gum, hard candies, lollipops, mini-cup jelly products, peanuts or small toys which can get caught in young children’s throats). Be sure to give your child a snack before you hit the neighbourhood, so that they’re not tempted to sneak a treat before you inspect the bag. And if you’re throwing a Halloween party, check out Health Canada’s food safety tips.

As for going out on Halloween, Safe Kids Canada says to teach your kids to stick to the sidewalk when traveling through the neighbourhood (walk, not run), and to look both ways when crossing the street (at a corner, never between parked cars). Also, your kid shouldn’t trust when a vehicle signals a turn ‘ they should wait for the the car to pass. Halloween is an exciting time for children, so be sure that they are calm and make smart decisions that help them stay out of danger. And if you are driving that night, reduce your speed, and turn your cell phone and the radio off to avoid all distractions. Look at Safe Kids Canada’s full list of tips for drivers and trick-or-treaters.

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