Police are reminding residents both young and old to keep safety in mind during their spooky Halloween adventures tonight.
According to a list of safety tips released by the Bracebridge OPP, parents are asked to pay special attention to children’s costumes and where and when youngsters go trick-or-treating. OPP Const. Derek Wickett also says masks may not be the best idea for young revellers.
“Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars,” he said. “Makeup is a better alternative.”
Wickett advises parents to make sure costumes fit properly to avoid slips and falls, and encourages bright colours to enhance visibility in the dark. Reflective tape, he said, can help with safety on Halloween night.
“Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult,” he said. “By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends.”
Parents are also asked to provide youngsters with flashlights, cellphones and maps outlining trick-or-treating routes, and to impose curfews for safety.
Children are reminded not to eat any treats they collect until a parent has inspected them, to leave pumpkin carving to parents, and to start trick-or-treating early before it gets too dark.
Wickett also advises trick-or-treaters to travel in groups of at least three people, to avoid houses that are not well lit, and stay on the sidewalk when possible. Children should never enter a stranger’s home.
“If there’s no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic,” said Wickett. “Don’t criss-cross back and forth across the street. Never cross between parked cars, always at crosswalks, street corners or intersections.”
Homeowners are encouraged to keep their properties well lit, and to remove items from yards or porches that could be tripping hazards for children.
“Use alternatives to candles in your pumpkins such as a flashlight or battery-operated candle,” he said. “If you do use a candle, never leave it unattended.”
Drivers should also be wary of the increased amount of pedestrian traffic on Halloween night on Bracebridge’s streets.
“Children are excited, they may dart out in traffic,” said Wickett. “Remember that costumes can limit a child’s vision, and they may not be able to see your vehicle.”