With kids out asking strangers for candy after dark, Halloween brings about a lot of opportunity for paranoia. But while the idea of your kids going Halloweening by themselves or with just a few friends may give you the jitters, here are the facts about Halloween.
Crime. While there are always a few teenagers and young adults smashing pumpkins and pulling pranks in the wee hours of Halloween, you don’t really need to worry about your preteen getting picked on. Most of the troublemakers are out quite late, after 11PM, and during the earlier hours of the evening there are many, many parents tagging along with their kids. Homeowners are also on the alert for trick-or-treaters. This means there are many eyes on the popular routes to make sure kids are safe and staying out of trouble.
Poisoning. The good news for Canadians is that there isn’t a single documented serious poisoning or injury from Halloween candy received while trick-or-treating. None. You may have heard of the orange, loonie-sized gummy candy that police were asking parents to throw out in 2016. A child was reported feeling ill with dilated pupils and sweats, but testing by the RCMP showed the candy was perfectly safe and no other children were reported ill. The fact of the matter is that the only children who have ever been harmed by Halloween candy were intentionally poisoned or injured by their own caregivers. While that’s not exactly good news, it does mean you don’t need to worry about the candy strangers are offering your child. We still recommend giving the pile of candy a quick look over though. Just in case anything is out of its wrapper or a neighbour gave your child a full-size coffee crisp you can “tax.”
Traffic. Unfortunately, traffic can and should be your major concern. Today’s society often frowns on parents who let their children trick-or-treat by themselves or with just a sibling or friends. Many provinces even specify how old a child must be before you can leave them unsupervised for any amount of time. This means more and more parents are trick-or-treating with their kids, and most of them are driving instead of braving the October chill. Therefore, there are many more cars on the road than there were a few years ago. Ensure your child can responsibly and safely cross the street before letting them trick-or-treat without adult supervision.
Halloween is a ton of fun, and we want to wish all Canadian families a great night. We hope everyone stays safe and enjoys the festivities, and remember to look both ways before crossing the street!