Halloween can often be a scary time for parents who worry about their child’s safety
during trick-or-treating. WhereParentsTalk.com spoke with Kristen Gane,
Manager, Programs at Safe Kids Canada to get their top tips for keeping your
kids safe on Halloween.
What are your top tips to help parents and children prepare for Halloween?
Safe Kids Canada recommends:
Children under the age of nine should be accompanied by an adult or responsible
older child, since they lack the developmental skills to cross the street on
Teach your child to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to
listen for oncoming traffic.
Select costumes with bright colours to increase your child’s visibility and choose
face paint instead of masks.
Always cross at crosswalks, street corners or intersections – it’s unsafe to
cross between parked cars or other obstacles.
Stay on the sidewalk when walking from house to house and if there is no
sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you.
Halloween is often a very exciting day for children and can cause many kids to
forget the normal safety rules they usually abide by. What are some of
the best way for parents to keep their kids safe?
Excitement can mean distraction, so even normally responsible kids can forget the safety
rules. It may be unrealistic to expect older siblings to responsibly watch over
little ones. Better to have an adult escorting children if there is any doubt.
Remind older children of the safety rules, and explain to them that while it’s great
to have fun and enjoy trick or treating, be careful when crossing streets and
driveways. Review the safety rules with them.
What are some tips for getting kids involved in learning about their own
safety? How should parents approach the subject?
It’s vital to start when children are very young (around 2 years of age) and discuss
safety in brief, simple ways that match the child’s developmental stage. A 2
year old can know that trucks belong on the street and people belong on the
sidewalk. A 4 year old can understand that he must always hold a grown-ups hand
when crossing the street. A 10 year old can be taught to never talk on a cell
phone or text, when crossing the street. And parental modeling of safe
behaviour is essential – if you jaywalk, your child will jaywalk.
For more on Halloween safety or the year round Safe Kids Canada Walk
this Way program, visit www.safekidscanada.ca, or call 1-888-SAFE-TIP