VERNON - As you make final costume adjustments and gather goody-bags before heading out this Halloween, make sure you aren’t forgetting anything else with these helpful tips from Health Canada and ICBC. Then, when you’re all set to go, check out a rundown of local events, included below this list.
1. Check the weather. Environment Canada is calling for a 40 per cent chance of showers Thursday afternoon and a low of 1 C so wear layers and don’t forget an umbrella. Choose costumes that aren’t too big and baggy—no one wants to trip and fall in a mud puddle en route to the next house.
2. Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility. Consider bringing a flashlight along and remind your children not to use their cellphone or listen to their iPods as it might distract them from the hazards of the road.
3. Use make-up or face paint instead of masks. Improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child's vision or breathing. If you do choose a mask, make sure it fits properly and allows them to see and breathe properly.
4. Toy weapons such as swords, knives and other accessories can cause injuries so make sure they are always made of flexible material.
5. Go trick or treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend. Children who are alone are vulnerable to injury and bullying by older children or may encounter a predator. When they are old enough, make sure they go with a friend or in a group, and know the routes they will be taking. You can also follow along at a distance to keep an eye on them.
6. Tell your children not to eat any goodies until you have looked them over. Throw out any treats that are not commercially wrapped, have loose or torn wrappers or have holes in the wrappers. If you suspect tampering with any of the treats, notify the police. Serve dinner before your children go out, so that they will be less tempted to eat goodies along the way.
7. Be cautious about giving children any treats that could be potential choking hazards. Some treats such as chewy candies, peanuts and hard candies could be a choking hazard.
8. Flammable materials, flowing skirts, baggy sleeves and over-sized costumes can all be hazards around candles or flames. Avoid costumes with baggy sleeves or flowing skirts and look for costumes, beards and wigs that are labelled "Flame-Resistant." Nylon or heavyweight polyester costumes are best. Remember, "Flame-Resistant" does not mean fire-proof.
9. Take a backpack along, to empty goodies into if the loot bag becomes too heavy.
10. If you’re hosting or attending a Halloween party, always make sure there are options for everyone to get home safely, such as designated drivers, transit or taxi numbers on hand.
More tips from Health Canada are available here and from ICBC here.
Trick-or-treaters are invited to stroll down 30 Ave. and visit Vernon’s haunted businesses Oct. 31. Pick up a Treat Trail Map at the Downtown Vernon Association. Ghouls and gals are invited to do the same in Armstrong. Black and orange balloons will guide you to participating shops.
Join the Caetani Cultural Centre in a magical lantern parade through the streets of Vernon and check out Toonie Tales at the Hub Community Arts Centre. Have your fortunes told, buy a mask, and enjoy food and hot drinks all for a Toonie.
Armstrong will be hosting its annual bonfire and fireworks at the IPE fairgrounds. Fireworks begin around nightfall and there will be free hot dogs and hot chocolate on supply. There will also be a memorial walk for Taylor Van Diest, who was killed two years ago on Halloween night.
Got a last minute costume dilemma? Never fear, the Vernon Public Art Gallery is hosting an event with Vernon’s MC College and artist Tanya Lipscomb for all your hair and costume make-up needs. Let the artists style your Roy Lichtenstein pop art hair or pencil in Frida Kahlo eye brows and braided up-do’s.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.