Each year Montreal Police request the cooperation of families on Halloween to help ensure a safe and fun filled evening for all. Although many parents are confidant in their ability to enforce appropriate rules for little ones in search of a trick or treat, Halloween dangers can creep up unexpectedly.
Montreal Police make the following recommendations for a safe Halloween:
- Wear costumes which are correctly sized to avoid tripping. Keep in mind that appropriate shoes are more important than matching a costume with over sized footwear or high heels.
- Select a light colored costume for your child, equipped with reflective tape so they can be visible; crucial for alerting motorists.
- Avoid wearing masks; make up or face paint (hypoallergenic and non-toxic) is an ideal alternative. It is imperative for children be able to see and hear properly.
- Use a flashlight to see and be seen by motorists; it also makes maneuvering in the darkness much more fun!
- Always ring doorbells and wait outside the houses; whether accompanied by an adult or in a group.
- Go trick or treating on one side of the street at a time, rather than crossing back and forth from house to house.
- Limit crossing the street to intersections, making sure to obey traffic signals.
- Never go near a car or get into one without a parent’s permission.
- Upon arriving home, parents should check all of the collected candy to make sure they are safe.
- Older children should inform parents which route they will be taking and what time they will be returning home. Enfant Retour Quebec (Missing Childrns Network) offers some valuable advice for parents to review with big kids before they venture out to trick or treat (Words to Haunt by for a Safe Halloween).
Aside from adorning homes with skeletons and witches, families awaiting children to trick or treat should also take precautions.
- Consider using battery operated candles rather than candles emitting real flames; most costumes are not flame retardant. Parents may want to appropriately treat their children’s costumes. Be prepared, practice stop, drop and roll.
- Ensure that the path towards your door is free of any obstacles that may cause children to trip and fall. Keep decorations away from all heat sources.
- Create a well-lit area for children to safely maneuver. Outdoor lights also let children know that they are welcome to visit.
- Although children are advised to wait for an adult to check their candy, some children may find no harm in trying their goodies. Consider purchasing treats that are peanut-free.
One final tip from Montreal Police is to try and get little ones out on Halloween between the hours of 4:30pm and 8:30 pm. Although they probably won’t turn into a pumpkin, it’s always better to play it safe!