Little is more exciting to kids than dressing up in wacky costumes and being set free in neighbourhoods to collect free candy. Halloween should be a fun time that is free of easily preventable accidents and injuries. A few simple considerations when planning costumes, decorating around your house, and trick-or-treating can reduce the risk of injury.
- Costumes should be made from flame-resistant material. Remember, though, that flame-resistant does not mean fire-proof. Kids should still take care around any open flames (including pumpkins lit with candles).
- Costumes should be comfortable and easy to move and walk around in. Consider that your children will be out in the neighbourhood for a long period of time while carrying something for their candy. Long flowing capes, dresses or skirts can be a tripping hazard.
- Face paint is a better option than masks. Children should be able to move their head freely and see clearly. If masks are a must, make sure the eye holes are big enough for clear vision and your children can breathe easily.
- Spears, swords, staffs, and other additions to a costume should be made of soft and pliable material. If a child were to trip and fall you wouldn’t want an injury caused by a sharp object.
- While a child may insist on a dark costume to fit the spooky atmosphere, it is easy to attach reflective stickers on candy containers or flashlights. Make sure that parts of your child are easily visible to other pedestrians and vehicles.
- You don’t want visiting trick-or-treaters to be injured when collecting candy at your home. Make sure there is a clear path to your front door amidst any tombstones, flying witches or skeletons.
- Consider using flashlights or battery candles rather than real fire when decorating.
- Take care when carving the pumpkin. Younger kids can draw their designs for you to cut.
- Turn on your outdoor lights for better visibility.
- Kids should walk in groups while accompanied by an adult if age appropriate.
- While drivers usually know to watch out on Halloween, normal traffic rules apply. Make sure your kids know they should only cross roads at crosswalks and should follow all the traffic light signals.