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Extravagant outdoor Halloween decorations cover the yard.
HALLOWEEN

Eight tips to safe trick or treating


Renee Tratch
Digital Writer, theweathernetwork.com

Sunday, October 28, 2018, 3:44 PM - 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:

COSTUME CHOICE:

Thanks to movies like Avengers: Infinity War 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.

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.

Courtesy: Creative Commons

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.

Courtesy: Barry Burgess - Annapolis County, Nova Scotia

Courtesy: Barry Burgess - Annapolis County, Nova Scotia

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.

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