Health Canada reminds Canadians about Halloween Safety
With Halloween almost here, many Canadians are busy preparing costumes and decorations. Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety Officer Dennis Kim would like to remind everyone about some simple safety tips as you get ready this year.
Choosing a costume
Kim says to make sure your child’s costume fits. Avoid flowing skirts and capes, baggy sleeves, feathers or other loose parts, as these may be a tripping hazard or fire risk around candles or flames. Kim adds to look for costumes and accessories (such as beards, wigs, wings or tails) which are labelled flame-resistant. Nylon or heavyweight polyester are best. He also recommends choosing bright colours so that motorists can see you, and use reflective tape or carry a flashlight to increase visibility.
Make-up instead of masks
Consider wearing make-up over masks, says Kim, as a mask can sometimes interfere with your child’s vision or breathing. If you are concerned about using make-up or face paint, do a patch test on a small area of skin to see if your child is sensitive or allergic.
To avoid the risk of fire, Kim suggests using a small flashlight or battery candle in your jack-o-lantern and other decorations. If you do use candles with wicks, make sure to place decorations away from curtains and other flammable objects, and don’t leave them unattended. Check indoor and outdoor decorative lights regularly for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections, and do not overload extension cords.
Trick or treating
Kim says to tell children not to eat anything until you have looked it over. Be especially careful with young children who could choke on treats such as hard candies or toys with small parts. Always tell children to be careful crossing the road, stay in well-lit areas and to only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on, and never go inside homes or cars.
Kim reminds Canadians to see the latest recalls and alerts regarding costumes, decorations (such as string lights) and accessories on the Recalls and Safety Alerts database on Canada.ca, which also has a free mobile application. You may check out more safety tips on the Information Update – Staying Safe on Halloween page.
If consumers have questions about specific issues or products, they may also contact Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety program at firstname.lastname@example.org.