NOTE: This article is meant for readers in any area of Canada where Halloween is still considered relatively safe to proceed with. It is not meant for readers in areas where trick-or-treating is being discouraged.
As children are getting eager to turn into goblins and ghouls, they’re also looking forward to all the loot. This year, each province and region can ultimately make its own rules about the holiday. For some, it’s a personal decision to go out trick-or-treating or to stay home, but Canada’s top doctor, Dr. Tam, has said trick-or-treating can be safe to go ahead with in regions that aren’t considered hot spots, as long as kids and parents follow physical distancing and other safety protocols.
Since Halloween is almost here, it’s a good time to consider these 10 tips before the big night to help keep everyone safe and happy.
1. Incorporate face coverings into your costume. If you’re planning on going out trick-or-treating, ensure that everyone in your household is wearing a non-medical face mask that covers your nose and mouth, not a costume mask. It’s the easiest way to help stop the spread of the virus and it’ll keep little noses warm on a typical Canadian Halloween night!
2. Distance as much as possible. Parents should be reminding their kids to wait their turn — with proper distancing — when collecting candy, and to move on quickly once they get their treat to avoid bunching and gathering.
3. Get creative with handing out treats. This is the year to avoid leaving treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab. Instead, try a candy shute (sounds fun!), or a hockey stick, or even tongs to avoid touching.
4. Trick or treat with members of your household or in small groups. Stick to your local neighbourhood as well. Having small groups means you can space out and distance.
5. Wash your hands. Wash them before you leave, once you get home, and before eating any treats. And if you plan on sampling your stash while out on the trail, bring hand sanitizer with you. It’s more important to keep your hands clean than cleaning each individual treat you receive.
6. Hand out candy outside. If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or the doorbell. You could also stand at the end of your driveway or the bottom of your stairs to make it more accessible to everyone.
7. Have kids stay outside, too. Remind children that they should remain outside the house when accepting a treat. Even if they’re invited inside to experience an amazing haunted adventure, they should resist the temptation to enter.
8. Choose your candy-carrying bag carefully. A pillowcase (decorated for Halloween even) is a great way for kids to lug all their loot. And if it gets too heavy, they can even throw it over their shoulder. But for younger ones, the temptation to keep filling it might be strong. Try a much smaller bag or bucket to keep the haul small.
9. Stay safe. Be seen. Along with glow sticks or flashlights, encourage your kids to wear some reflective or light-coloured clothing so that they are easily visible to traffic. You can also add reflective tape to your child’s outfit. Avoid long outfits that they can easily trip over.
10. Respect differences. Some families choose not to take part in Halloween festivities. Although it may be difficult to convince your children why anyone would not want to dress up and get goodies, encourage sensitivity and tolerance towards others. This year is a nerve-wracking year for everyone, and we’re all just trying to do what’s best for each of us.
Be safe and Happy Halloween!