Police-Approved Tips for Trick-or-Treating Safely on Halloween in Mississauga

Gone are the days when kids would roam the neighbourhoods of Mississauga seeking candy until 11 p.m.

Trick-or-treating is a ton of fun for everyone involved. Parents can dress their kids up in cute costumes, kids get an incredible sugar overdose, older kids can head out in their bloodiest, scariest costumes, and those of us who choose to stay home and hand out candy get to watch the fun unfold.

Starting from the parents carrying their babies around in pumpkin costumes to a house or two around 6:30 p.m., up until 9 p.m. (or later if your neighbourhood is just that cool) when the older kids are raiding your candy bowl for leftovers.

One thing's for sure on Halloween - everyone, from parents, to older kids, to homeowners, is advised to take certain precautions to stay safe.

Peel Regional Police has released a list of handy tips for everyone to have a happy Halloween.


For parents:

Police say that parents should choose brightly coloured, non-flammable costumes for their kids, complete with reflective stickers on the front, back, and sides for visibility. As well, parents should use face-paint or makeup as opposed to a mask. But, if kids want masks, parents should ensure they fit and have large eye openings.

"Get the kids fed, organized and out as early as possible," police advise, and to "give your child a small flashlight before heading out.

Kids should also be accompanied by one responsible adult! And, as every year, parents should tell their kids not to go inside of a house or eat their candy before it has been checked (i.e. don't eat opened or suspicious-looking candy). On that note, always inspect candy wrappers and throw away home made treats, fruits included, "unless you know and trust the source."

Further, parents should tell their kids not to dart across the road - always look both ways before parking the street.

For parents who have older kids who are going out for the evening without an adult, know your kids' route and pick a curfew, and remind them of all the next set of tips from police.

This might just be a tip from me (spolier alert: it is)...but parents should also have fun and go out in costume!


For older children unaccompanied by adults:

If you're a bit older and you're going trick-or-treating, police have some tips for you, too! Don't think you could get away from safety.

In all seriousness, safety first - always use the buddy system and travel in groups. This is important.

If you have a cell phone, carry it for emergency use to avoid drawing attention to yourself if you have to use it. Police alsy say to be wary of groups of teenagers not wearing costumes (let's not let your candy get stolen, or worse).

Police also say to "stick to your pre-planned route or advise parents before you change plans" and "only visit well lit homes."

"If you require immediate assistance look for an adult accompanied by children or in an emergency call 9-1-1."

And don't forget to dress up and have fun.


For homeowners:

As for those of us who are staying home to watch the costume fashion show and reward everyone for their efforts, police have some tips as well.

First and foremost, police say to "make sure your property is safe. Turn on outside lights and clear the property of toys or obstacles that could cause a fall."

In fact, you probably shouldn't leave anything valuable outside like outdoor furniture, equipment, or even cars or bicycles - just in case.

As for your precious pumpkins, you should put them on a window, away from drapes (hello, fire hazard?) or at the front door. Never leave your pumpkins unattended or on the steps. And, don't forget to extinguish all candles when the night is over and you're closing up shop.

When you're picking which treats to dole out to trick-or-treaters, you should also consider prepackaged treats - if you see the tip above, parents and kids might throw away home made treats or fruits since they're open.

Stay safe this Halloween, everyone!

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