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Tricks and Treats for a Safe and Fun Halloween

Fall marks a time when the air is crisp and the scenery is arguably the most stunning of all four seasons. For kids across the country, it also marks one of their favourite nights of the year: Halloween. Whether you deck out your porch with spooky characters and fall trimmings, or simply turn the porch light off, this ghoulish holiday should be a fun, safe time for you and your family. While thoughts of overspending and overindulging (the result of dipping into your kid’s candy) can seem frightening, they don’t have to be.

Sweet deals

You may have noticed when you’re out shopping that you can barely fit your cart through the automatic doors at the grocery store entrance before you’re slapped in the face with skids of mini chocolate bars, bags of chips and embellished, inflatable spooky characters. Instead of paying full price for Halloween candy (some are upwards of 20 bucks for fewer than 100 pieces), keep an eye out for sales. Check out online coupons and in-store flyers and when the price drops, grab your broom, er… car, and head to the store. A word of advice: waiting until Halloween to buy candy may not mean you’ll find it on sale. In some cases, the stock has been depleted and the sales have ended.

DIY decor

There’s no shortage of seasonal decorations but the price for them isn’t typically cheap. If you carry the ‘craft gene’ you can probably create your own spooktacular decorations, but if you’re more like me and can barely operate a glue gun without sustaining second degree burns, you might feel less confident in your DIY skills. The good news is no one is judging your works of art. Get the kids involved and make your own spooky crafts and décor. From mess-free jack-o-lanterns to stencil art, the possibilities seem endless. Here’s a great DIY list to help you get started.

Unmask potential dangers

Many costume accessories include masks, which may seem like necessary items, but when it comes to trick-or-treating, they can obstruct a child’s vision, especially when crossing the street. Swap cumbersome masks for nontoxic face paint to ensure your little one can navigate streets safely, especially after the sun goes down.

Budget-friendly costumes

Searching for new costumes online can be a pretty frightening experience. If you’re unwilling to spend upwards of 40-50 dollars on a single child’s costume, rest assured there are other options. Department stores, big box stores and even grocery stores carry a variety of more affordable costumes. Another option is to make one. But if the thought of cutting, taping and sewing scares you, opt for pieces already in your child’s closet or toy box. This year, we’re simply adding a pair of inexpensive butterfly wings and a wand to my daughter’s princess dress up item.

Candy 101

Ensuring your child’s bag of candy hasn’t been tampered with is paramount; check to make sure wrappers haven’t been opened and remember to toss any homemade treats unless you trust where they came from. While many mini chocolate bars are now peanut-free, parents of children with allergies should keep a close eye on any goodies that may contain nuts or other allergens. If you plan on sending treats to school or a costume party, home baked goods are generally not considered safe. Instead, opt for store bought school-safe mini-cupcakes or cookies.

Brighten the mood

Putting on a scary costume, playing scary music and setting up a fog machine by your front door can help set the mood, but as your little goblins head out, hand them a flashlight or glow stick to ensure drivers and other trick-or-treaters can easily spot them. You can also easily add reflective tape or stickers to costumes.

Here’s to a fun-filled and safe All Hallow’s Eve!