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Halloween forecast and tips to safe trick or treating

Friday, October 18th 2019, 8:57 am - Here's what to expect on Halloween and how to make the spooky night a safe one.

While it may still be too early to answer the question, will it be dry for trick or treating on Halloween? we can talk about the temperature pattern for Halloween and where you will likely need extra layers to stay warm in your costume.

As we look ahead to the final days of October, including Halloween, we expect a shift in the pattern that has dominated so far during October. The map below shows temperature anomalies through October 17 and the various shades of blue, green and purple highlight the widespread colder than normal temperatures across most of southern Canada. The focus of the coldest weather has been across the southern Prairies where temperatures have been 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal.

Halloween anomally

During the final week of October we expect that most of central Canada will be colder than normal, but the focus of the coldest weather relative to normal will shift east into the Great Lakes region.

Halloween pattern

Initially, the shots of chilly weather will only be a few degrees colder than normal, but we have the potential for a more significant shot of cold weather towards Halloween and continuing into early November.

This pattern also has the potential to set off bands of significant lake-effect snow in the traditional snow belt regions of the Great Lakes before the end of the month. As residents of this region well know, the first lake-effect snow of the year often comes during late October, and the upcoming pattern looks rather favourable for bringing a white Halloween to parts of the region.

EXCLUSIVE: December weather becoming less of a wild card for winter in Canada

So, for much of central Canada it looks like you will need an extra layer or two and possibly even boots for trick or treating. The regions with the best chance of being milder than normal for Halloween look to be near the B.C. coast, across Newfoundland and Labrador and across far northern areas of Canada, including Iqaluit.

Be sure to check back regularly for updates on your Halloween forecast.

EIGHT TIPS TO SAFE TRICK OR TREATING

For many Canadians, the costume prep, pumpkin carving and stocking up on treats began weeks ago. But whenever and however you get ready for Halloween, be prepared for a parade of eager kids big and small to fill neighbourhood streets on October 31.

Each year brings a new batch of trick-or-treaters and with that comes an annual reminder of some common sense practices and new ways to celebrate the 'holiday.'

Here are eight tips to keep kids safe and having fun:

1: COSTUME CHOICE

Thanks to movies like Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther, you can expect an onslaught of superheroes as this year’s top costumes.

Make sure masks don’t restrict vision, capes and dresses aren’t dragging on the ground, and extras like swords and sabres are made of soft, flexible material. And as always, don’t forget to prepare for the weather – add layers, wear warm and dry footwear and pack a hat and mitts in the bottom of the treat bag just in case.

2: BE VISIBLE

Try to choose bright or light-coloured costumes or consider adding strips of reflective tape to costumes and bags. Glow sticks, mini-flashlights or bike lights can be easily hooked onto loops, zippers and treat bags.

Batman costume creative commons Image courtesy: Creative Commons.

3. BE STREET SMART

Remind kids to stick to the sidewalk, stay on one side of the street at a time and avoid crossing mid-block. Motorists – slow down. It’s fun to start trick-or-treating early, but remember that twilight is one of the hardest times for drivers to see clearly.

4. GO AS A GROUP

Send an adult with a flashlight to accompany younger kids and have older kids travel in groups. Set specific neighbourhood boundaries and as a general rule, advise trick-or-treaters to turn down all invitations to enter homes.

5. KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE

For households handing out treats, make sure porch lights are on and walkways are clear of decorations and clutter. Consider using LED lights, flashlights or glow sticks instead of candles in jack-o-lanterns.

Haunted House Barry Burgess UGC Annapolis County Nova Scotia Image: Barry Burgess, Annapolis County, N.S.

6. CHECK TREATS BEFORE EATING

Remind kids to save their treats and goodies for home where an adult can check them. Toss candy if the package looks previously opened or wrappers have holes. Or, skip candy altogether and join the wave of parents planning to give out these alternatives to sweet treats on Halloween.

7. PLAN A SMALL PARTY

As a trick-or-treating alternative, some parents have organized neighbourhood celebrations in a park, parking lot or community centre. A smaller controlled environment may help ease concerns about where treats come from and ingredients like sugar, gluten and nuts. You can even downplay the candy by focusing the evening on themed games and (not too scary) movies with friends.

8. STOCK UP ON BATTERIES

Don’t forget the batteries. Stock up on batteries to use for flashlights and Halloween decorations. Surprising all of your unsuspecting haunted house guests and little ghosts with battery operated Halloween decorations and props is a must - and remember to double-check what type of battery each uses to avoid having the wrong fit at the last moment.

Halloween safety tips provided by Renee Tratch

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