Information update

Put Safety First at Halloween

Starting date:
October 26, 2015
Posting date:
October 26, 2015
Type of communication:
Information Update
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Important Safety Information
General Public
Identification number:

October 26, 2015
For immediate release

OTTAWA – Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for children. Following a few safety tips will help to ensure that it is a safe experience for the whole family.

Tips for parents – food allergies or sensitivities

  • Consider giving out treats that do not contain ingredients like peanuts, tree nuts, milk and egg. These ingredients can cause severe reactions in individuals who have allergies or sensitivities.
  • If your child has food allergies, read labels carefully and avoid candies that do not have an ingredient list, or that have a “may contain” statement that lists ingredients to which he/she is allergic.
  • If your child has been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector because of a food allergy, make sure they have it available whenever they are eating.

Trick or Treating

  • Give each child a flashlight to carry to make them more visible to motorists and others.
  • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on. Make sure they know not to go inside homes or cars.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until you have checked them first.
  • Throw out treats that are not commercially wrapped, or are found in torn, damaged or loose packages.
  • Wash your hands before opening and eating candy treats.
  • Remove any choking hazards like gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys from the loot bags of young children. Do not let children younger than three years of age play with toys with small parts.
  • Wash fresh fruit thoroughly and cut it open before eating it. Inspect for holes, including small punctures and cuts. If there are any, do not eat the fruit. When in doubt, throw it out!

Costume safety

Coming up with a creative disguise doesn't mean that safety should be forgotten.

  • Make sure that costumes are loose enough to be worn over warm clothing, but not so baggy or long that children can trip over their costumes.
  • Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.
  • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks - improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child's vision or breathing. Before using face paint or make-up, do a patch test to see if your child is sensitive or allergic to something in the cosmetic. Even products labelled as “hypoallergenic” can still cause allergic reactions.
  • If you choose to use a mask, make sure it is one that allows the child to see and breathe easily.
  • Look for costumes and accessories such as beards, wigs, wings and tails that are labelled flame-resistant. Flowing skirts and capes, baggy sleeves and over-sized costumes can all be hazards around candles or flames. Nylon or heavyweight polyester costumes are best. Remember, flame-resistant does not mean fire-proof.

Media enquiries

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

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