Keeping Calgary kids safe on Halloween: try a candy tube or chutes, officials suggest
If you're handing out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, officials are encouraging you to consider creative candy-dispensing ideas like chutes or tubes.
The suggestion comes from the Partners for Safety, a collection of first responders and City of Calgary organizations that come together every year to patrol the streets on Halloween and keep kids safe.
The group is suggesting that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Calgarians consider handing out candy outside to avoid crowding and overuse of high-volume touch points like door handles, railings and the doorbell.
Children receive treats by candy chutes while trick-or-treating for Halloween in New York City on October 31, 2020. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
Coordinated by Calgary's Child Magazine, the Partners for Safety include the Calgary Police Service, Emergency Medical Services, Calgary Fire Department, Calgary Transit, Calgary Community Standards (bylaw and 911) and Calgary Emergency Management Agency.
This year, the group will be out between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31.
"Any child experiencing a problem on Halloween can go to any one of these partners for help," the organization said in a Wednesday news release.
When not responding to emergency calls, police and EMS will have units patrolling residential neighborhoods.
Firefighters will also be on patrol, and community fire stations will be open in between emergency responses as a safe place for trick-or-treaters to ask for help if they need it.
Calgary Transit buses and CTrains are in the community day and night providing essential transit services.
"On Halloween, if trick-or-treaters need help, they can approach any transit vehicle they spot," a news release explained.
"Bus and CTrain operators have radios and can contact the appropriate emergency personnel if needed."
The organization has released a number of safety tips for Halloween, including:
Halloween tips for kids:
- Tell your parent(s) or guardian(s) where you’re going, who you’re going with, and when you’ll be home;
- Bring a cell phone in case something changes;
- All pedestrian rules still apply. Look both ways and walk, don’t run, across the street at intersections;
- Trick-or-treat all the way down one side of the street before crossing to the other, avoid zig-zagging across the road;
- Wear bright, reflective clothing so you are visible to drivers on the road;
- Avoid shortcuts through alleyways, lanes, or through private property;
- Stay in busy, well-lit areas and bring a flashlight;
- Never enter a house or a car while you’re trick-or- treating;
- If a situation or person makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your gut and walk away. Call a parent or trusted adult if you’re not sure what to do, or approach one of our Partners for Safety vehicles.
Before you wear your costume out:
- Have kids wear the full costume around the house for an hour or two a couple of weeks before Halloween to make sure the shoes, clothing, and accessories are comfortable (make changes if needed);
- Avoid costumes which are extremely dark or all black. Choose one with bright colors and consider adding reflective tape to make sure drivers can see you;
- Pick materials, garments, and accessories labeled ‘flame-resistant’;
- All costume accessories, such as sticks, rods, or wands should be soft and flexible with no sharp edges;
- Costumes should be loose enough that it can be worn over warm clothing or a heavy jacket if it is cold outside;
- Avoid tripping hazards by ensuring Halloween costumes aren’t too big. The costume should not cover ankles and hands;
- Make sure any costume masks are comfortable - bulky masks can make it hard to see cars and other hazards or can pinch or hurt; consider switching to make-up instead of a mask where possible.
Safety tips for haunted houses:
- If you are planning to attend a haunted house, ensure physical distancing of at least two metres;
- Wear a face covering;
- If you’re hosting a haunted community experience, remember that theme houses open to the public (indoors or outdoors), are considered a gathering. Limit attendance and ensure appropriate physical distancing, including controlling entry and exit for a haunted house;
- Do not have direct contact or touch with people, provide open food, or have close-range conversations;
- For more information on planning a haunted house, call The City of Calgary at 403-268-5311 or speak to us over live chat using calgary.ca/livechat.
For more information on Partners for Safety and other Halloween safety tips you can visit the City of Calgary's website.