Safety tips for Halloween

What could be more exciting for children than the mystery of a crisp fall night when imagination reigns, friends and neighbours constantly ring the doorbell and rules about sugar consumption are temporarily on hold? It’s easy for safety to fall by the wayside in all of the ghoulish excitement; here are some tips to prevent your Halloween from becoming frightening:

• Safe Kids Canada recommends parents accompany trick-or-treaters if they are nine years old or younger. If there are no sidewalks in your neighbourhood, accompany your child no matter how old he or she is. If your child is going out on his or her own, he or she should travel in a group of four or five.

• Before it’s time to trick-or-treat, teach your child to slow down long enough to stop at the curb and look left, look right and look left again. Show him or her how to listen and look for vehicles. Talk about how traffic signals is important, but can’t be solely relied upon. A child must use his or her ears and eyes.

• Often kids are tempted to zig-zag across neighbourhood streets, anxious to see what a neighbour is handing out this year. Teach your child to walk to intersections or street corners instead.

• Choose costumes with bright colours. If your child insists on morphing into a vampire or black cat, add some reflective tape to the costume and make sure capes, brooms or swords aren’t going to make your child trip.

• Make-up is always a better choice than masks, which can block peripheral vision and make it difficult for little eyes and ears to see and hear cars.

• Teach your child not to eat any candy until it has been inspected by an adult. If a package is open don’t eat it.

Everyone at Pickering College participates in Halloween fun! Pumpkin carving takes place in the Junior School and with our boarding students. Classroom doors are decorated and a full school Morning Meeting features a parade of students, teachers and staff in their Halloween costumes. The lunch menu is frightfully delicious!

Halloween is a time for fun and mystery. Talk about Halloween safety before the big night and then offer your little ghost or goblin reminders as the fun unfolds. Happy Halloween!