# Monday, October 29, 2007
                 

Halloween Safety Tips

Children across Canada will be flocking to the streets in a few short days for trick-or-treating. Especially for younger children, the excitement of the holiday can make it easy to forget safety tips and measures. Parents therefore need to exercise caution and make sure that their children have a safe and happy Halloween.

It is recommended that parents accompany children under 10. If your child is over 10, and will not be accompanied by a parent, ensure that they are going out in a group. Map out a route that the group should follow, so that you know where they are going to be. Try and stick to a neighborhood that you know well. Give your child your cell phone so they can call in case of emergency. Tell your child to only go to houses that are lit up; and to never enter someone's home.

Check the weather forecast and make sure your child is dressed appropriately. As masks can impair vision, try and use makeup instead. Make sure the costume fits your child properly; long costumes can cause them to trip. Also ensure that the costume isn't made of a flammable material. Brightly colored costumes make your child more visible to motorists. Costumes should be comfortable and allow your child to move easily.

If you plan on handing out treats, make sure your porch and yard are well-lit. Clear your walkway and sidewalks for things such as wet leaves that children can slip and fall on. If you use candles in your jack-o-lantern, make sure it is placed out of reach of children. Keep your pets locked in a separate room; the constant doorbell and stream of people can upset a normally docile animal. If possible, avoid handing out candy that has common allergens, such as peanuts. If your child has food allergies make sure he/she knows what is allowed and what isn't. Make sure to tell trick-or-treaters not to eat their candy before they have gone home and had their parents inspect it.

It's important to remember that children can easily get caught up in the excitement of the night, and can forget simple rules. Talk to your child about why the rules are important, such as crossing streets only at intersections, so they have a better understanding. If possible, have a few adults from your neighborhood take out a group of kids. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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