“Spooking” of Safety for Halloween 2019

Trick-or-treating is a big part of Halloween and many people will be walking, driving, or handing out candy. Please keep these safety tips in mind. 

Photo of children in Halloween costumes out trick-or-treating

Photo credit: iStock.com/Rawpixel

Trick-or-treating was serious business when I was a kid! We spent many hours at it, amassing huge bags of goodies.

Even if your neighbourhood doesn’t see a lot of trick-or-treaters, there are still many people out and about on October 31 so it’s important to keep safety top of mind. Here are some things to consider when preparing for trick-or-treaters to visit, driving on Halloween night, or just walking around enjoying the festivities.

Safety when you’re welcoming trick-or-treaters

See The Ultimate Halloween Checklist from Safewise.com if you are planning to be at home, giving out treats. Their tips include:

  • Clear walkways to eliminate any potential trip and slip hazards.
  • Use lots of lights around your entryway.
  • Securely confine your pets to avoid having them scare trick-or-treaters (or vice versa!).
  • Avoid using candles in your jack-o’-lanterns because costumes and paper decorations can easily catch fire.

Also see 10 Halloween décor safety tips to keep your house spooky not scary (from Technical Safety BC), which includes the following tips:

  • Ensure that your decorative lighting has certification, such as from the Canadian Standards Association.
  • Use the right extension cord for the right location (indoor and outdoor cords are rated differently).
  • Check that cords are in safe condition, without punctures, fraying, or deterioration.

Safety when you’re driving on Halloween night

A University of B.C. study, published in 2018, found a 43 percent increase in the risk of pedestrian death on Halloween compared to control days one week earlier and one week later.

For the 24-hour period on October 31, 2017, there were 950 crashes and 280 people injured in B.C. alone. To help you and others say safe on the roads on the big night, follow the Drive Smart tips from ICBC, which include:

  • Don’t pass a slow or stopped vehicle — they may be stopping to let children cross the road.
  • Come to a full stop at stop signs and intersections.
  • Stay well below the speed limit and be ready to stop at a moment’s notice.

It’s also a good time to be prepared for the colder weather that’s on its way. See Shift Into Winter for more safe driving information.

Safety when you’re a pedestrian or accompanying trick-or-treaters

These Pedestrian Safety Tips to Teach Kids from HealthyFamilies BC are important all year round. Tips to teach kids include:

  • Be as visible to vehicle drivers as possible.
  • Don’t be distracted, be aware of your surroundings, and walk with full attention.
  • Choose walking routes with good accessibility and lighting.

These are just a few of many ways to keep safe on Halloween. Do you have any more tips to share?

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