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  • Writer's pictureAlexandria Bakken

Halloween is coming... are you ready?

Oh, that time of year again, Halloween. For some of us, this is more exciting than Christmas! And for children, it means ALL.THE.CANDY!!!!

Although Halloween has been a long-lasting tradition in Canada, the atmosphere in which we celebrate it has changed.

There are more people, and more vehicles. Costumes have become more extravagant, some even having masks that a child can hardly see out of. Wings and lights on costumes add to the weight. All of these present new hazards to your child.

Here are a couple things to consider to ensure that you and your family have a safe and healthy Halloween:

1. If you child has allergies, tell them not to eat their candy before you, their parent, goes through it. With so many nut allergies, but so many chocolate candies containing nuts, it should not be expected that all households deliver nut and allergy free candy. Talk to your child to ensure they do not, in all the excitement, eat something they shouldn't.

2. It's Alberta. It could be cold. Pack a jacket. When I was a child, we designed our costume around our snow suits. Ensure that your children do not fall ill by trying to be "cool" and not wearing a coat.

3. Good grip. Again, it's Alberta. It could be sunny, or snow, or be crazy icy for Halloween. Ensure that your children, and you (if you are walking with them) are wearing shoes with good traction to prevent slips and trips, and that will also keep their feet warm.

4. Speaking of walking with your children, even though it may not "be cool" to have your parents go with you, there's nothing wrong with lingering behind a little ways so you can always see your family. With the amount of abduction attempts this year, remember to protect your family.

5. Cars. Cars. Cars. We learn in school to stop and look both ways before crossing the street.. but on Halloween "THEY HAVE CANDY! LOOK AT THEIR DECORATIONS!!! LET'S GO!!!!" Remind your children that rules still apply. Everyone needs to stop at the crosswalks and look for oncoming traffic.

6. Visibility is pretty great. A lot of costumes are scary, which means dark, which means hard to see at night. If your child has opted for the scary approach, again, it's Alberta. It's getting dark at 6pm, get some reflective tape from Canadian Tire or the Dollar Store and put some on their back or their shoes to add something for vehicle traffic to see. If your kid doesn't want to have high visibility stripes on their costume, get them a flashlight or a light up candy container.

7. So the nice lady at the end of the street gave you some fruit? 3 words... THROW IT OUT. If it's not sealed, it's not safe. (Also, if anyone reads this and you are the fruit person, we understand the healthy gesture, but it's going in the garbage. Go get some candy!) As a parent.. when in doubt, throw it out. Or take the items of concern to the police so they can do testing.

8. Manners - while not a safety concern for children, it doesn't hurt to teach your kids to say Thank You. They are getting something for free, manners are important.

9. Have fun! Enjoy this Halloween with your family :)

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