Here’s how to stay safe this Halloween

Halloween was originally celebrated in the 1800’s, alternatively known as “Hallows Eve”, was a day to celebrate the dead, including saints and martyrs.

Nowadays, Halloween is a time for costumes, candy, parties, and trick-or-treating.

Const. Jeremy Shaw, the digital communications officer for the Calgary Police, says parents need to watch out for contaminated candy along with suspicious candy-givers.

“Don’t let your kids eat any candy from their bag until they get home, [where] you can inspect it,” said Shaw.

Shaw’s hope is to prevent children from getting frightened and having their experience ruined.

“Give them a Ziploc bag of candy you’re handing out, in case they’re tempted to eat any while out trick-or-treating,” he said.

Even though candy-tampering doesn’t happen often, and almost all reports have been discovered as hoaxes, Shaw recommends examining the candy first to also avoid any allergy triggers.

“More and more allergies are becoming apparent nowadays and parents need to keep an eye out for people who don’t take this into consideration,” he said.

Shaw also offered some other tips on how to keep your family safe this Halloween:

  • Remind children never to go beyond the doorway of any house they visit, and not to talk to strangers.
  • Parents should also remind children to stay on the sidewalk and only cross the street at intersections.
  • Let your children know not to take shortcuts through alleys and abandoned areas, but to stay in populated, well-lit areas.
  • Older, more mature kids who don’t need supervision should travel in groups.

For people 18 and older, travelling in groups, and staying in well-lit populated areas is also a good idea, especially if the night involves drinking and partying.

“A designated driver should always be a part of the group,” said Shaw.

Matt Matkin, 23, usually chooses to be a designated driver.

“Every now and then I will enjoy a drink and go party with my friends, but I prefer to be a designated driver, because I like to keep everyone safe,” Matkin said.

Halloween is a crazy time for adults like Matkin, as there are party buses and Halloween parties held at different clubs and bars.

“It can get really rowdy, depending on the type of people that attend these parties,” said Matkin.

“As designated driver, I always keep an eye on my friends who are drinking, to make sure they aren’t being bothered by other people, that they’re not drinking too much, and that they’re having a good time,” said Matkin.

“I feel it’s any designated driver’s responsibility to take care of their friends while out drinking and partying,” he said.

There are a few services in Calgary that offer a safe ride home to avoid drunk driving or going home with someone new, such as taxi services and Keys Please.

A designated driver should always be a part of the group. – Jeremy Shaw

Keys Please offers a designated driver to drive people in their own vehicle or to deliver just the vehicle.

It is a safe and reliable way to ensure the end of the night isn’t exactly that –the end.

For more information on Keys Please can he found here.

Matt Matkin in his dinosaur "onesie", wearing a safety vest and hard hat, emphasizing being safe on Halloween in Calgary on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. Matkin is a Engineering Technician for Almor Testing Services. (Photo by Adrianna Thebault/The Press)
Matt Matkin in his dinosaur “onesie”, wearing a safety vest and hard hat, emphasizing being safe on Halloween in Calgary on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. Matkin is a Engineering Technician for Almor Testing Services. (Photo by Adrianna Thebault/The Press)
About Adrianna Thebault 1 Article
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Adrianna Thebault is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2014-2015 academic year.