Halloween Trick Or Treating is fun, family friendly and exciting.
But when you take a step back and really examine what Halloween Trick or Treating really entails, it would make any parent cringe.
Knocking on the doors of strangers? Check.
Accepting candies from strangers? Check.
Running door to door at night in poorly visible costumes (while wearing masks with poor visibility)? Check.
All this while on a sugar high adrenaline rush fueled by chocolate and candy? Yup!
On any other night, you would strictly forbid your children from doing any of the above. But on Halloween, it’s all good.
Halloween should be fun, kinda spooky and totally safe. So let’s keep it that way.
The purpose of this year’s Halloween instalment of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is to impart you the parents with some reminders and safety tips. Most of these tips you may already know; or may have forgotten. Nonetheless, it’s a good reminder or tool to keep your kids safe over Halloween.
- Tick or Treaters See and Be Seen! It’s starting to get dark outside pretty early. Chances are your children will be out trick or treating in the dark. Make those costumes visible for the public AND also ensure that the child inside the costume can see his/her surroundings. Adding flashing lights, reflectors, glow sticks or even have headlamps used for night time running are great tools for being seen on the streets. Masks which don’t allow children to see at their feet or cause issues with their peripheral vision aren’t good ideas.
- Drive Slow! In the words of iconic Houston Rapper Paul Wall Drive slow homie, drive slow homie You never know homie, you need to pump your brakes and drive slow homie. If you’ve never heard that track, you should check it out. Classic. If you happen to be out driving on Halloween, keep in mind that the streets will be crowded with little ones out Trick or Treating. Slow down so that you have plenty of reaction time. Speeding kills and will result in an accident. It’s not the time or the place for an episode of the Fast and The Furious on residential streets. Save that for the movies or the race track.
- The Buddy System still works! You know how in all of the horror movies a group goes out and then someone strays from the group alone and then something bad happens to that person who strayed off? Like the bad guy gets that person (think Freddie or Jason) There is strength in numbers. Grab a buddy. Stick to the pack. Don’t go out alone or lose your buddy or group. Bad things can and will happen. Not suggesting a Hollywood style horror movie plot. But you’re far better off navigating the streets and staying safe in a group or with a buddy than you are alone.
- Have a safe costume. Have a safe costume? What does that mean Goldfinger? Here’s an example of a really cool, really classic, but unsafe costume. A mummy covered in long bandages from head to toe. Great effect. Super Spooky. But also super unsafe. The Mummy can’t see on account of all the bandages over their face. The Mummy can’t hear properly either. Bandages tied around the legs and shins coming undone and causing a tripping hazard. Not only can’t the mummy see oncoming traffic or hazards on the sidewalk, but they’re also tripping over their own costume because the bandages are falling off. Not a safe costume. Here’s another example of an unsafe costume. Batman the Dark Knight with full mask like you see in the movies and long flowing cape. If you ever heard Val Kilmer talk about his time filming Batman in his Batman costume he would tell you that it was heavy, he couldn’t move properly and couldn’t see a thing. Don’t let that be your kid. Not to mention the suits are pitch black and you can’t see them at night. Really cool for Instagram posts. Really unsafe in the real world. The flowing cape doesn’t add to the safety factor either.
- Parents get off your phones! “Supervising” your children trick or treating does not mean being locked in to your phone checking emails and looking at Instagram. There will be plenty of dangerous distractions out there on Halloween night which can cause real damage in the real world. The internet isn’t a real place. You’ll have plenty of time to check out the virtual world for when trick or treating is done. Stay focused on what matters most.
- Flashlights Flashlights and More Flashlights! They’re fun. They’re safe. They help to see and to be seen. How can you make Halloween cool and fun at the same time? Just add a flashlight. All of the neighbourhood kids will be jealous and all of the motorists will be able to see your children that much better when they’re out Trick or Treating. Don’t underestimate the power of the flashlight on Halloween night.
- Have a strong candy bag. You know what makes me sad? When a cheap plastic bag full of delicious Halloween treats splits open, breaks and falls on the sidewalk. You know what makes me even more sad? When a cheap plastic bag plastic bag full of delicious Halloween treats splits open, breaks and falls on the road while a Trick or Treater is crossing the road.
- Trick or Treating isn’t a race or a competition. Remind your children that there are no winners or losers on Halloween night. There is no first prize or Olympic medal for Trick or Treating. Slow and steady will win the race. We all win if we have a good time and there aren’t any accidents.
- Parents check treats before the kids eat the up. What was good for you as a child is still good for your children today. You never know what people do or what people are thinking. The world can be a scary place with some scary people who do some sick things.