While St. Albert children are busy adding the finishing touches to their ghoul masks, real monsters are less likely to wander the streets on Halloween night.
But as a measure of precaution, the St. Albert RCMP are advising parents to stay close to their trick-or-treating children nonetheless – even if the kids are at that age where they “may not like” being shadowed by their parents, said Cpl. Laurel Kading.
“We want to still see parents going out and being accessible to them, be vigilant, even if you are staying back towards the sidewalk area,” she said. “Just make sure that no troubles are happening and that if something does happen there is an adult around too.”
Halloween has been a “pretty safe” time in the area and people are very respectful of one another, added Kading. But that’s mostly due to the diligence of parents, she said.
Depending on the weather, a lot of people may be out on the streets this Halloween, which also falls on a Friday, she said. But even if there’s little traffic, she hopes parents will tell their children to stay on the sidewalks.
Rather than zigzagging the street, go down one side first and then down the other, she said. Children in dark costumes should also wear something bright to make them visible to drivers, such as glow sticks.
“It’s dark out when our kids are trick or treating in Canada and we really need to be thinking traffic safety and crossing properly,” she said.
When it comes to candy, children may benefit from eating it at home after their parents have checked their bags, Kading said.
While there have been no reports about people intentionally trying to hurt a child for a long time, children are still getting treats from people they don’t know – and who don’t know them, she said.
Parents should collect the candy, sort it at home and then give it to their kids to eat, she said.
“There are so many allergies this day and age that parents really need to bring anything that is collected home and go through it themselves,” she said. “Give the kids the parts that they determine are properly wrapped, safe, clean things that haven’t been opened in the bag.”
Halloween safety tips are also available on the website of childfind.ab.ca under Programs & Services and Safety Tips.
Tips include planning a trick-or-treating route ahead of time, staying away from dark alleys and yards and telling children to never enter someone else’s house or car without parental permission.