Staying safe on Halloween night
Okotoks: Parents reminded to make children visible, check candy
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 06:00 am
As children gear up to don their costumes and hit the streets for candy, there are some things for little ones and parents to bear in mind.
Kelly Stienwand, Okotoks municipal enforcement manager, said it’s important for everyone to be vigilant on Oct. 31, not only those with young children.
“Halloween is a very different night for our community and there’s a lot of activity out there,” he said.
One of the most important warnings is not to go out trick-or-treating alone, he said. It’s best for children to travel in groups of at least two, if not with their parents, he said.
Children are also reminded never to step inside a stranger’s home, regardless of invitations to wait indoors. Treats should be taken from outside the door, he said.
It’s also best to head out as early as possible, he said.
“We’d like to see them start trick-or-treating early and we want to remind people their costumes can reduce their vision in some cases, so we’d like to have kids look both ways before they cross the street and use a little extra care,” said Stienwand.
Whenever possible, parents should make an effort to ensure their children’s costumes are a light colour or have reflective tape attached to make them visible in the dark, he said.
Children should carry a flashlight or a glow-stick while trick-or-treating, he said.
People out on Halloween should also be mindful of wildlife, he said.
“We have a lot of urban deer in our community, so it’s a good thing for kids and drivers to be cautious,” said Stienwand. “The deer might be a little more active with so much activity out in the evening.”
Drivers are also reminded to exercise extra care behind the wheel, as there will be increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic, he said.
Weather could also provide its own challenges and drivers are urged to practice extreme caution in case of reduced visibility due to rain or snow on Halloween, he said.
After trick-or-treating, parents are reminded to take a look through their children’s candy before allowing them to indulge in their treats.
“We encourage kids to never eat unwrapped or homemade candy unless their parents have had a chance to look at it and make sure the parents are actually inspecting their treats before they allow the kids to eat them,” said Stienwand.
Though there have not been recently documented cases of dangerous candy in Okotoks, he said it’s still important for parents to be vigilant of possible dangers, like drug-laced candy, razor blades and other harmful items.
If parents find candy that has been tampered with, they should report it to the RCMP, he said.
During Halloween, there will be an increased presence of municipal enforcement officers, RCMP unit and fire department vehicles out on Okotoks streets, he said.
“We’re just out there to fly the flag and ensure people have resources to reach out to if they have any concerns,” said Stienwand.
Carving pumpkins is one of the longest-standing traditions of Halloween, but how do you dispose of the pumpkin on Nov. 1?
Paul Lyons, Okotoks waste services manager, said residents in town have a few options.
“Pumpkins should be placed in your green cart, compost or disposed of through an organics program,” said Lyons.
Those who don’t have an organics program in place can drop off their pumpkins at the Eco Centre on North Railway Street, he said.