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Halloween Tips and Tricks

Published October 23, 2023 14:00

BGC Ottawa wants every ghost and ghoul to have a safe, spooky, fun, even frightful, Halloween. Here’s a few tips and tricks that we’ve concocted in our cauldron to ensure a wicked night unfolds for all.


  1. Go with a group, stay together and keep small children within sight, and make sure you only visit homes with their outside lights on and / or Halloween décor, such as glowing a Jack-O-Lantern.
    - Never enter a home or vehicle you don’t know.
  2. Carry a flashlight or glowstick so you are more visible to vehicles.
  3. Consider face paint instead of masks to ensure optimal vision.
  4. Dress for the weather – superheroes can catch a chill, too!
  5. Inspect all candy before eating it – if the packaging is damaged, throw it away.

Decorating your home

  1. Use kid-friendly carving tools or paint when decorating pumpkins to avoid injury.
  2. Consider faux candles instead of real ones for inside your Jack-O-Lantern.
  3. Set up decorations with traffic flow in mind. Place them to prevent tipping over, blowing away or becoming a tripping hazard.
  4. When plugging in your scary decorations, do not overload electrical outlets.
  5. Do not drape costumes or other fabrics over light bulbs, which generate heat and can start a fire.

Welcoming trick-or-treaters and handing out candy

  1. Ensure walkways are clear and well-lit for little trick-or-treaters.
  2. Secure family pets in a safe place – they can get scared, too!
  3. Hand out allergy-conscious treats that are individually wrapped.
  4. Be nice, be accepting and be patient...
    - A child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills.
    - A child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues.
    - A child who does not say ‘trick-or-treat’, ‘Happy Halloween’ or ‘thank you’ may be non-verbal.
    - A child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have an allergy or is diabetic.
    - A child who is not wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue or autism.
  5. Consider leaving a bowl of candy at your door with a note if you plan to take your child(ren) trick-or-treating.

Not everyone celebrates

  1. Just like any holiday, not everyone celebrates Halloween. Sometimes it is because it is not a common holiday in their culture, they might find it dangerous or associate it with poor behaviour and/or decision-making.
  2. Respect designated spaces for those who do not celebrate.
  3. Have open discussions about the holiday and how celebrations may differ for each person/family.
  4. Use alternate themes such as “Character Day” to create a teachable moment.
  5. Ask questions about how we can create safe and inclusive spaces for differing celebrations.

Be safe. Have fun. And a very Happy Halloween to those who celebrate!

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