19 tips to keep kids safe this Halloween

With October drawing to a close, Health & Safety Watch wants to ensure that Canadians have a Halloween filled with treats, not tricks. The organization has posted the following tips to help ensure that you and your kids have a great evening:

Costumes

  • Wear costumes made of fire-retardant materials; look for “flame resistant” on the label.
  • Avoid costumes with baggy sleeves or flowing skirts to minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources. 
  • Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape so you’ll be more visible; make sure the costumes aren’t so long that you’re in danger of tripping.
  • Wear makeup and hats rather than masks that can obscure your vision.
  • Test the makeup you plan to use by putting a small amount on your arm a couple of days in advance. If you get a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation where you applied it, that’s a sign you may be allergic to it.

Candy

  • Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
  • Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected.
  • Tell children not to accept-or eat-anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  • Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
  • Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

 Pumpkin carving

  • Never let children carve pumpkins.
  • Adults carving pumpkins should remember to use specifically designed carving knives, rather than kitchen knives, as they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin.  
  • Should a pumpkin carver cut a finger or hand, make sure the hand is elevated higher than the heart and apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding.  If continuous pressure does not slow or stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, an emergency room visit may be necessary.  
  • Be considerate of fire hazards when lighting jack-o-lantern candles or use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights. Alternatively, try painting pumpkins for a fun, creative option.
  • Keep candles, jack-o-lanterns, matches and lighters in a place that children cannot reach.

Trick or treat

  • It is important that children walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways.  They should also obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit.  Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of neighbourhood dogs when trick-or-treating and remember that these pets can impose a threat when you approach their home.
  • It’s also a good idea to carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.

Originally published in 2011. 

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