Make Halloween safety a priority
By: Stu Salkeld
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013 06:00 am
It’s Halloween, and for kids that means just one thing: getting some trick-or-treating done.
But safety is also important notes St. Albert RCMP Cpl. Laurel Kading.
“Of course, the biggest thing for us is it’s a time when there’s a lot more kids on the street than usual,” said Kading Monday.
She said Halloween-night safety is very important for kids and families. Primarily, little children out trick-or-treating should have costumes that allow them to see clearly so they can easily spot traffic and have no trouble walking, Kading said.
Smaller children should always have an adult with them, she noted. Also, kids of all ages should always make eye contact with motorists before crossing the street, should never take short cuts across the street, or just run out into the street without warning as, before sunset, drivers can have difficulties seeing everything.
“The sun can be impairing your vision,” said Kading, noting Halloween trick-or-treating begins right at dusk.
Also, Kading pointed out that many Halloween costumes are black, so parents should put reflective tape on little ghost and ghouls or give them a flashlight. Lastly, if kids get hungry or thirsty while trick-or-treating, parents should bring something with them and not let the kids eat anything that hasn’t been inspected yet.
After the trick-or-treating is done, kids will obviously be eager to get at their goodies, which is mostly store-bought snacks nowadays.
“Most everything is,” said Kading.
However, Kading said, before anything is eaten from the candy collected on Halloween night, parents should always thoroughly inspect everything. She said expired candy or broken packages should be top priority.
“Even just to make sure things are safe to consume,” she said.
She said kids should also be careful with how much they eat after getting home.
“We recommend they don’t eat it all on the first night,” she said with a chuckle.
St. Albert Fire Chief Ray Richards confirmed the fire department will once again be out Halloween night with treats and safety advice.
“Candies always connect with the kids,” said Richards Monday.
Firefighters from all stations will be out in fire trucks, and kids can collect a treat from them after about 6:30 p.m.
And for all those trick-or-treaters who want to throw eggs at something Halloween night?
“Some people think it’s OK to do tricks on Halloween night,” said Kading.
She said egging or anything similar is considered vandalism and can easily damage property such as houses or vehicles. The RCMP use discretion, but such activity can result in charges, she noted.
The St. Albert area is usually pretty calm though.
“I haven’t seen big issues with Halloween in a long time,” said Kading.
“Let’s just have fun out there and keep it safe.”
AMA tips for a spooktacular Halloween
Halloween is a frightfully fun tradition for both children and adults. AMA is reminding drivers, parents and homeowners to take simple precautions to ensure a safe, fun and worry-free evening.
Getting ready for Halloween:
Help your trick-or-treaters to see at night. Look for costumes that use face paint instead of masks.
If your child must wear a dark costume, add some reflective strips to be more visible to drivers.
Plan the route ahead of time. If your little ones are trick-or-treating alone, walk through the route with them early in the week, and have set times for them to check in.
Make sure your walkway and yard are clear of dangerous items like tools, cords and debris.
Have a safe, quiet place for your pets. Strangers and costumes may put them on edge.
Tips for trick-or-treaters:
Trick-or-treating is more fun with friends. Go out as a group, and stay together during the night.
Don’t approach houses that do not have a porch light on.
Remember to cross the road safely at crosswalks or corners, using Point, Pause and Proceed!
If your mask makes it hard to see, lift it up for a better view before crossing the street.
If someone offers to let you come in the house or to get into their car to warm up, politely decline, and then tell an adult right away.
Tips for drivers on Halloween:
Expect the unexpected. Watch out for children jaywalking, crossing driveways and stepping out from behind parked vehicles.
Make eye contact with pedestrians. Masks and costumes can reduce a child’s view of the road. If you aren’t sure, err on the side of caution.
Stay focused behind the wheel. Follow the law and avoid distractions like cellphones and other electronic devices. Give the Bluetooth the night off and keep your mind on the road.
Never drink and drive. If you’re at a party, make it none for the road and plan for a safe ride home.