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Halloween safety tips and community events

Last Updated Oct 30, 2015 at 7:48 am EST

Calling all goblins and ghouls!

(Yes, Minions can come too.) Halloween is just days away and as adults and children alike prepare their costumes, best candy route, and evening plans, there are few safety tips to keep in mind.

Click here to see our list of community events.

Halloween safety tips

For children (and their guardians)

  • Avoid dark costumes. If they are dark, add reflective tape so that motorists can see them at night.
  • Choose face paint instead of masks, which can obstruct vision (especially when crossing streets).
  • Bring flashlights when trick-or-treating.
  • Check candy for hazards before consuming.
  • Avoid candles and opt for electric candles instead.
  • Children should only trick-or-treat at homes and neighbors they know and only houses with the lights on.
  • Tell children not to enter anyone’s homes.
  • An adult or responsible older child should accompany younger children.
  • Ensure your child dresses in layers for rainy and chilly weather, and keep a hat and pair of mitts/gloves in your child’s treat bag.
  • Supervise small children when crossing the road, and remind children to always stop and look both ways before crossing.
  • Ensure children know they have to wait for cars to come to a complete stop before crossing the street at a crosswalk or a traffic light.
  • Stay on the sidewalk when walking from house to house, and if there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you.
  • Plan a meeting spot in case friends or family members who are out together become separated.
  • Supervise pets when you open the door, as they may get overexcited with trick-or-treaters coming to the door.
  • Children should avoid petting friendly neighborhood dogs who may not recognize them in costumes.

 

For kids with food allergies, Halloween presents its own set of problems. Keep an eye out for teal pumpkins: the brightly-coloured jack-o-lanterns indicate that the home has a non-food item to hand out to trick-or-treaters. If you’re at home on Halloween, consider putting out a teal pumpkin yourself, and having a small toy or other item on hand.

Halloween collision statistics from Toronto police.
Halloween collision statistics from Toronto police.

 

For adults

  • Ensure your doorstep is well lit so that children don’t trip and fall.
  • Turn on your home’s porch light and clear the walkways of clutter.
  • Drivers are reminded to pay extra attention on the roads as children may be over-excited and run across.
  • Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be trick-or-treating.
  • Watch out for kids, many of whom will be wearing costumes that limit their vision.
  • Eliminate distractions, such as cellphones or loud music, and stay alert.
  • Halloween is on a Saturday, and parties and bars will be busier than usual.
  • If you’re hosting a party, know your responsibility under the Occupier’s Liability Act: The Occupier’s Liability Act in Ontario defines an “occupier” as “a person who has responsibility for and control over the condition of premises or the activities there carried on. This means taking reasonable precautions to prevent accidents on your property. You could be held negligent if you fail to do so.
  • Be responsible about serving and consuming alcohol.

 

Tips courtesy Singer Kwinter Law, Toronto Paramedics, Toronto Police, Parachute (a charity dedicated to preventing children’s injuries) and FedEx.

 

Thousands of jack-o-lanterns line Sorauren Park for their annual pumpkin parade. Photo via: soraurenpark.wordpress.com
Thousands of jack-o-lanterns line Sorauren Park for their annual pumpkin parade. Photo via: soraurenpark.wordpress.com

 

Neighbourhood Halloween events

Event: 2nd Annual Pumpkin Parade
What: Don’t throw out that used jack-o-lantern just yet! Bring it to this neighbourhood park, along with a candle, to light up the night. It’s the second annual parade in Oakville Village and similar events will be held across the GTA.
Date: Nov. 1, 2015
Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Place: Laughlin Park, 420 Atlas Ave.
Cost: Free

Event: Sorauren Park Pumpkin Parade
What: The 11th-annual event will feature close to 2,000 pumpkins. Bring yours and see what others have carved in their jack-o-lanterns.
Date: Nov. 1, 2015
Time: Begins at twilight
Place: Sorauren Park, 50 Wabash Ave.
Cost: Free

Event: Mimico Square Pumpkin Parade
What: Organizers are hoping for close to 600 pumpkins at this family-friendly event. Give new life to your old lantern and meet neighbours in the process.
Date: Nov. 1, 2015
Time: 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Place: Amos Waites Park, 2445 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
Cost: Free

Event: Earlscourt Park Pumpkin Parade
What: The day after Halloween, the neighbourhood lines up pumpkins for an “enchanted walk” through the park.
Date: Nov. 1, 2015
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Place: Earlscourt Park, JJ Piccininni entrance
Cost: Free

Event: 3rd annual Haunted Halloween Marijuana Treasure Hunt
What: Anyone over the age of 19 is welcome to hunt down a certificate for a free marijuana cigarette, good only at the downtown Juju Joint dispensary.
Date: Oct. 31, 2015
Time: Unknown
Place: High Park
Cost: Free

Event: Halloween Charity Haunted House
What: Every year, Mitch Garber puts on a haunted house display and garage walk-through at his Milton home to raise awareness and money for the Kidney Foundation of Canada. All ages are welcome, but those under 10 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Date: Yard display is every night; garage walk-through is only open on Oct. 31, 2015
Time: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Place: 1086 Meighen Way
Cost: Free. Donations are accepted.

Event: Charity Halloween Maze
What: Organziers promise “a feeling of dread, on the night of the dead,” but this Mississauga attraction won’t be too scary: All ages are welcome.
Date: Oct. 31, 2015
Time: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Place: 2966 Tradewind Dr. (Derry Road & Winston Churchill)
Cost: A non-perishable food donation for the Eden Food Bank and/or a cash donation for the Canadian Cancer Society

Event: Trick-or-Treat at Upper Canada Mall
What: Fill up your loot bag and be home before bedtime as retailers celebrate Halloween indoors and during daylight hours. Participating stores will have a sign posted in their windows. Costumes are encouraged.
Date: Oct. 32, 2015
Time: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Place: Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket
Cost: Free

A group called Entertain Kids on a Dime has put together a list of events in Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions. Click here to see it.

Do you have an event we should know about? Email CityNews.ca and 680NEWS.com.