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.
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.
- Carry a flashlight or glowstick so you are more visible to vehicles.
- Consider face paint instead of masks to ensure optimal vision.
- Dress for the weather – superheroes can catch a chill, too!
- Inspect all candy before eating it – if the packaging is damaged, throw it away.
Decorating your home
- Use kid-friendly carving tools or paint when decorating pumpkins to avoid injury.
- Consider faux candles instead of real ones for inside your Jack-O-Lantern.
- Set up decorations with traffic flow in mind. Place them to prevent tipping over, blowing away or becoming a tripping hazard.
- When plugging in your scary decorations, do not overload electrical outlets.
- 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
- Ensure walkways are clear and well-lit for little trick-or-treaters.
- Secure family pets in a safe place – they can get scared, too!
- Hand out allergy-conscious treats that are individually wrapped.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Respect designated spaces for those who do not celebrate.
- Have open discussions about the holiday and how celebrations may differ for each person/family.
- Use alternate themes such as “Character Day” to create a teachable moment.
- Ask questions about how we can create safe and inclusive spaces for differing celebrations.