It’s getting to be that time of year when all of Edmonton’s little ghouls, ghosts and witches wander our neighborhoods looking to fill pillowcases with sugary treats. As we carve our pumpkins and decorate the house in preparation for our spooky visitors, there are a few things that we can all do as responsible parents and homeowners to make sure this year’s Hallowe’en focuses on the treats and removes the tricks that can put a damper on the prowl for goodies. Keeping our kids safe, our own and those that visit our homes, is the most important thing we as responsible members of our community can do.
Take a quick look at our top tips for a safe Hallowe’en and check out some of our favorite communities to visit for all the delectable, spooky and tasty treats.
Plan Your Route
Take the time to sit down with your children to plan the route they are taking and make sure that they don’t deviate from that route. By planning ahead, you can roughly guess where your child will be during the night’s outing and will know when to expect them back with their loot. Walk the route with your child before Hallowe’en so they are familiar with the plan and so that you can check for obstacles that may be a danger to young trick-or-treaters such as building sites, broken sidewalks or tripping hazards that may not be noticed in the darkening hours.
While your child’s costume may not exactly call for comfortable running shoes, walking around for an hour or two, door-to-door in high heels or large boots will tire out little feet and possibly cause injury and discomfort. It’s more likely that you’ll be carrying your little ghoul home for a change of footwear before too long or carting them from house to house on your shoulders. Save the fancy footwear for costume parties or school events and opt for comfort instead. You child’s feet will thank you (and so will your shoulders and back).
Flowing gowns and life-like medieval armor may sound like a great idea and look awesome, it may not be the best for walking around the neighborhood for a few hours collecting treats. Comfort is key when trick-or-treating. Long costumes that drag the ground can get caught on bushes and fences and can trip up little feet. Also, make sure the costumes are washroom friendly and don’t take hours to remove... you know why. Here's a few quick costume considerations to keep in mind:
- Try to avoid masks as they reduce visibility. Opt for makeup instead if possible.
- Plan your child’s costume for cold weather and layering. Temperatures around this time of year are unpredictable. Cold weather and flimsy costumes do not make for a nice outing.
- Make sure that materials are fire retardant. Candles in pumpkins and on doorsteps can lead to disaster if kids aren't careful.
- Use flexible props with no sharp edges. A rubber or foam sword will be much safer than something more rigid that could cause injury.
Focus on Visibility
Make sure your child is visible in the dark by attaching a small reflector or two on their costume or clip on a glow stick. Give your kids a flashlight so they can see where they’re going and so others can see them coming. Road safety is always a concern when our children are involved and Hallowe’en is no exception. If anything, road safety is more important as kids run from house to house and aren’t always the most visible in dark costumes.
As difficult a task as it may seem, it’s a smart idea to instruct your children to be patient and wait till they get home before sampling the bounty they have walked so far to gather. Inspect the loot with your kids and discard any candy with open wrappers or that doesn’t appear to be fresh or looks suspect. It’s also a good idea to discard any homemade treats unless you personally know the families that made them. This also gives you the opportunity to slyly "sample" for quality control...
Quick Tips to Consider
- Dress your kids in a bright costume for easier visibility
- Stay in touch with children as they're out and about with a cell phone or two way radio
- Make sure that kids go the bathroom before they leave for the night (and never use a stranger's washroom)
- Ensure that kids do not go into anyone’s house for any reason (unless it's a family friend or relative)
- Accompany younger kids and help them navigate the busy streets and to keep them safe
- Instruct kids to walk, not run, and to not cut across front lawns where they may not see tripping hazards or decorations
- Set a time limit for kids to return home
- Make sure that the night is focused on fun and enjoying this once a year event!
Our Favorite Communities for Trick-or-Treater's
And now to the good stuff… our top 5 communities for trick-or-treating (from a report provided by the Edmonton Journal) based on average number of trick-or-treaters and average amount of money spent on tasty treats:
- Glenora in Central Edmonton
- Delwood in Northeast Edmonton
- Glenwood in West Edmonton
- Kensington in Northwest Edmonton
- Grandview Heights in South Central Edmonton
Do you have any tips for preventing Hallowe’en tricks and for keeping our little ghouls safe this year? Please let us know and share your ideas below! We’d love to hear your top tips for a safe Hallowe’en in our great city! In the meantime, we'd like to wish you and yours a happy and safe Hallowe'en and if you have any left over candy, feel free to drop by the office... we're more than happy to unburden you of your tasty treats!