Put wicked worries to rest with Halloween safety steps

It’s that time of year when children gear up to be ghosts and ghouls. In addition to all the fun, Halloween can make parents feel wary — not of haunted houses, but of the potential dangers of children staying out after dark and taking candy from strangers.

“Halloween can be a fun event for the whole family,” said Dr. Glen Ward, chair of the CPS Public Education Subcommittee and a paediatrician in Surrey, British Columbia. “By following a few simple safety tips, parents and kids can make the most of this annual tradition.”

The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) suggests these series of safety tips for families.
  • Try a hypoallergenic, non-toxic make-up kit instead of a mask. Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars.
  • Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material, placing strips of reflective tape on the back and front, so that drivers can better see your child. 
  • Be sure costumes fit properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid items such as oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses or capes. 
  • A parent should escort children under 10 for trick or treating. By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends. .  
If children go without adults:
  • Make sure they go in a group of at least 3 people.
  • Give them a flashlight and a cell phone, if you have one.
  • Draw a map outlining the route they should follow. Tell them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn’t on the route.
  • Tell them not to eat anything until they get home.
When you get home, carefully examine all candy. Discard anything that is unwrapped, tampered with, or unfamiliar. Remember: “If in doubt, throw it out.”

Parents can also consider alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating. Some community centres and malls host Halloween events. Or team up with neighbours to make an exciting Halloween party for your community.

For more information about Halloween safety, visit Caring for Kids — the CPS website for parents and caregivers

For inquiries, contact:
Emma Wadland
Canadian Paediatric Society
613 526-9397, ext. 247
613 850-4868 (cell)