Just in time for the spookiest holiday of the year, Health Canada has released a few helpful reminders about safety during Halloween:
Make sure that costumes are loose enough to be worn over warm clothing, but not so baggy or long that children can trip over their costumes. Children should also wear sturdy walking shoes.
Choose brightly-coloured costumes that will be clearly visible to motorists. For greater visibility, add or incorporate reflective tape into the costume.
Make-up and face paint are better than wearing masks, which can restrict breathing and/or vision. If you choose to use a mask, make sure it is one that allows the child to see and breathe easily.
Look for costumes, beards and wigs labelled "flame resistant" - nylon or heavyweight polyester costumes are best. Flame resistant does not mean "fire proof." Avoid costumes with baggy sleeves or flowing skirts to minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources.
Parents or caregivers are encouraged to remind children not to accept - and especially not to eat - homemade candy or baked goods (provided by individuals they don't know). Also, an adult should inspect all the treats before children start snacking.
A few more tips to keep in mind:
Throw out any treats that are not commercially wrapped, those in torn or loose packages, or any that have small holes in the wrappers. Remove choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys when young children are involved.
Wash fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect for holes, including small punctures and cuts, and if found, do not let children or adults eat the fruit.
Avoid treats that may contain ingredients like peanuts, milk and egg that can cause severe adverse reactions in individuals who have allergies or sensitivities.
When trick-or-treating, parents should accompany their children each year until the children are old enough to go by themselves. Safety-minded parents can follow along at a distance to keep an eye on the children. A few other tips to keep in mind:
Tell your children not to eat any goodies until you see them. Make sure that your child eats dinner before they set out, so they'll be less tempted to eat their goodies along the way. Children should stay in well-lit areas and should only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on.