Vancouver - It’s the time of year when we begin to see little ghosts, goblins and witches enjoying Halloween treats and festivities. To support families in keeping kids safe, BC Children’s Hospital is sharing tips to ensure the season is memorable for all the right reasons.
"Halloween safety is a shared responsibility, and we’re hoping to educate parents and caregivers to plan ahead for the upcoming festivities,” said Lisa Romein, RN, manager of the Trauma Program at BC Children’s Hospital. “Talk to your children about safety and ensure they know what to do if they, or someone they’re with, needs help. Stay safe and have fun!"
The brighter the better – Dress children in bright, colourful costumes and attach reflective tape, buttons and lights on their coats and goody bags. When your child is wearing bright colours and reflective items, it’s easier for drivers to see them on curbs and when they are crossing streets. Remember to carry a flashlight with charged batteries inside. Consider adding emergency identification information such as your child’s name, address and phone number to their costume or on a bracelet. If you plan to decorate your property, remember to keep it well-lit and use non-flammable light sources.
Make sure your kids can see hazards – Many masks, hats or costumes with complex accessories can make it difficult for children to see cars and other hazards. Skip the mask and consider using face paint to ensure children can see clearly. Size it right—ensure your little princess’ gown is short enough to avoid falls, and that your prince's crown is secured so as not to tumble, causing him to stumble.
Stick together – Always ensure children are accompanied by older companions or adults. Plan ahead and dress kids up in group-themed costumes that will encourage them to stick together, such as The Avengers, Minions or Ninja Turtles. If you’re walking at night, hold young ones' hands and keep them safe from obstacles like uneven surfaces or stairs, and more boisterous trick-or-treaters.
Stay on the path – Make up your own version of Harry Potter's Marauder's Map to keep everyone on a known route. If you trick-or-treat with children, go down one side of the road, then cross at an identified or safe crossing area, and go down the other side. Let someone at home know the route you plan to take. By keeping on the path, you can stay safe while taking part in all the fun.
If you have older children, make a plan so you know where they will be at all times. Ensure they have a charged mobile with them and tell them to make like ET and phone home if there are any changes to agreed-upon plans.
Check candy – Make sure to check all treats before anyone eats them (yes, this includes you!). Look for unsealed or broken wrappers and unwrapped candies, and review all home-packaged candy. If in doubt, throw it out.
For drivers: Slow down – Be aware there will be an increase in children on the streets and sidewalks on Halloween night. So slow down, drive safely and do not drink and drive. There may be some distracted little ghosts, goblins, princes and princesses out, so please be extra cautious when entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
BC Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority provides expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, youth and young adults, including newborns. Child and Youth Mental Health provides a diverse range of specialized and one-of-a-kind tertiary mental health and substance use services for children, adolescents and young adults across the province. For more information, visit www.bcchildrens.ca or follow us on Twitter @BCChildrensHosp. The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.
For more information or to arrange an interview:
BC Children’s Hospital
PHSA Media line: 778-867-7472