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Candies, costumes and caution — tips to keep Halloween safe

Whether you prefer tricks or treats, there are ways to ensure everyone stays safe on Halloween. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to trick-or-treating this Halloween, it is easy to get distracted by costumes, tricks and treats. Winnipeg police and fire officials have issued their annual reminder to parents and caregivers to keep safety on the top of their list.

When it comes to keeping kids safe, there is a lot to keep in mind, from costumes, to candy, to how you light up your pumpkins.

Costume Safety:

  • Can they be seen?  Kids (and parents) should wear bright and/or reflective costumes; carry a glowstick or flashlight or wear reflective tape
  • Can they see? Make-up is always better than masks, which can make it difficult to see. Even if the mask seems to fit properly to begin with, it can shift during all the movement that comes with collecting candy and lead to falls or injury.

Can they walk?  Costumes should not be too long or limit movement as that can create tripping hazards. Remember that many homes have stairs and your kids may not be the only ones at the door.

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Trick-or-treating Safety:

  • Remember ‘stranger-danger’  Rules of safety are easily forgotten when kids are trick-or-treating. Remind your kids, especially if they are going out with friends rather than parents, that they should never enter a stranger’s home, and they should never go anywhere with anyone they don’t know.
  • Have a game plan  Kids who are going out together without parental supervision should know when to quit.  Know who they are going with, where they intend to go and make it clear when you expect them home.
  • Follow the rules of the road  Kids should always walk on sidewalks whenever possible and walk facing traffic if there is no walk way. Remind them to watch for traffic, to never run out from between parked cars, and to stick to one side of the street rather than crossing back and forth.

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Treat Safety:

  • Check before you eat  – always examine treats before eating. An adult should check treats for smaller kids. Anything with open wrappers or looking like its has been tampered with should be thrown away. Never eat anything that is not wrapped.
  • Beware of choking risk – many candies are prime choking hazards. Encourage kids not to snack on treats when they are talking, running or playing.
  • Be allergy-ware  – parents of children with allergies should take extra care in checking contents of kids candy baskets. Not all items will have ingredients lists and cross contamination can occur.

Home Safety:

  • Costumes can be flammable – remind kids to keep their costumes away from flames. Pumpkins with candles in them, plus capes and flowing outfits are a scary combination.
  • Pumpkins prefer flashlights – battery-powered lights or glow sticks are a safer way to illuminate pumpkins than candles with open flame.
  • Clear a path – decorations, fall leaves and pumpkins can be tripping hazards. Ensure stairs and walkways are clear to prevent falls or injury.
  • Be alert – some people go out on Halloween more for tricks than for treats. Notify police if you see anything suspicious.

WATCH: Top safety tips for kids this Halloween

Click to play video: 'Top safety tips for kids this Halloween'
Top safety tips for kids this Halloween

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