​​Tips for a safe and spooky Halloween

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With most provinces giving the green light to trick-or-treating this Halloween, it’s a good idea for parents to check with their local public health authority for COVID-19 safety advice and review general safety precautions.

Last year, kids faced a restrictive Halloween and were asked to avoid trick-or-treating in COVID-19 hotspots. This year, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia have given the go-ahead as public health guidelines are followed.

Some health officials still recommend people keep their distance and find fun and creative ways to deliver treats, reports CBC News.

“So far, no province or territory has said it will outright cancel or ban door-to-door trick-or-treating, but many provinces and territories are still working on their guidelines,” the article states.

Kids should stay at home if they feel sick, even if their symptoms are mild. It’s disappointing to miss out on the festivities, but the Public Health Agency of Canada suggests a candy scavenger hunt, a virtual pumpkin-carving contest or watching a Halloween-themed movie.

COVID-19 precautions aside, Health Canada has compiled a list of safety tips on topics including choosing the right costume, avoiding decorating danger and being cautious with candy.

When it comes to staying safe and secure while going door-to-door, teach children to remain visible and aware of their surroundings. The site also suggests the following tips:

  • Go trick-or-treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend.
  • Give each child a flashlight to carry to make them more visible to motorists and others.
  • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on. Make sure they know never to go inside homes or cars.
  • Teach your children to be careful when crossing the street. Make sure they look both ways and only cross when no cars are coming. Cross streets at the corner, and never cross between parked cars.

Kids aren’t the only ones who need a safety refresher this time of year.

Recent research finds a 43 per cent higher risk of pedestrian deaths on Halloween night than on other nights near that date. Kids aged four to eight faced the most increased risks in the study, and deaths peaked around 6 p.m.

“That age group is maybe particularly excited about Halloween and maybe in the midst of that excitement loses track of the very real danger that vehicles pose,” says lead author Dr. John Staples. “They may be unaware that drivers aren’t able to see them.”

Motorists should remember to take extra care and be on the lookout for pedestrians. Watch your speed and avoid driving distractions. And if you’re heading to a party or bar, put your car keys away and have a plan for a safe return home.

Settlement Lenders is a Private Credit Manager. Its lending solutions service the legal sector, including its clients and the service providers involved in their cases. The firm is registered to conduct business in Ontario, B.C., Alberta and the Atlantic provinces.

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