Tips for a fun and safe Halloween

Halloween tips

In a few days' time, the border between the world of the living and that of the dead will begin to blur, giving rise to a variety of celebrations. For this occasion, we present an overview of the origins of Halloween in Canada. We'll also give you some tips on how to celebrate while taking care of your health and safety through the various traditional activities of this holiday.


Halloween in Canada: The union of Celtic and Christian traditions

Although there's no certainty as to the origins of Halloween, many historians assume that it originated with the Celtic peoples of ancient Europe. Canada's Halloween tradition is said to have its roots in a Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced "SOW-in").


According to the Celts, the night of October 31 marks the division between the cycle in which the days are longer than the nights, and the cycle in which the nights are longer than the days.


During this period, the separation between the world of the dead and the living lessens, giving the souls of the dead, ghosts and demons the opportunity to pass over to the side of the living.


In this tradition, certain practices, such as dressing up in costume and making offerings, are said to ward off and soften evil spirits.


Its arrival in Canada dates back to the mid-19th century, with the arrival of a large wave of Irish and Scottish immigrants. Samhain traditions were then combined with those of the Christian feast of All Saints' Day. Indeed, the term Halloween derives from All Hallows Eve.


Where does the famous Jack-o'-lantern tradition come from?


It comes from an ancient legend about a mischievous, drunken man named Stingy Jack, who outwitted the Devil twice. Legend has it that the Devil descended from Hell to punish him for his unacceptable behavior. Unfortunately, being cunning, Jack managed to keep the Devil prisoner by surrounding him with crosses. To be freed, the Devil had to promise Jack that he would never bother him again. Later, when the man died, Heaven didn't want him and, in Hell, neither did the Devil, since that was his promise. The story goes that ever since, Jack has wandered between the worlds of the living and the dead.


So people created Jack-o'-lanterns to ward off wandering souls like Jack. Digging pumpkins, putting candles on them and lighting them protects your home from evil spirits.


A few tips to make sure your Halloween doesn't turn into a horror film

Whether you're digging Jack-o'-lanterns with your family, handing out candy, having a party or taking your car for a spin on Halloween night, it's important to take certain steps to ensure everyone's safety.


These simple precautions will help you celebrate Halloween with peace of mind!


Digging pumpkins


Use a tool kit specially designed for this activity to reduce the risk of injury.

For example, the small serrated saws in these kits are less likely to slip or get stuck in the pumpkin pulp than an unserrated kitchen knife.


Prepare your work area and tools well.

Your space should be well lit, and the work surface should be stable and flat. Nothing should be wet or damp, to avoid anything slippery.


Carve the pumpkin before emptying it, to avoid getting your hand inside during cutting.

You may, however, want to trim the pumpkin a little at the base to ensure stability.


Keep sharp tools away from little witches and ghosts. Cutting should be done by an adult.

Of course, this doesn't mean that children can't participate. They can help empty the pumpkin, draw the face designs and decorate it.


My turquoise pumpkin

The "My Turquoise Pumpkin" initiative (or Teal Pumpkin Project) makes the traditional Halloween gathering more inclusive for allergic children!


In short, place a turquoise pumpkin in front of your house to indicate that you have non-food options and treats free of the 9 major allergens: (1) peanuts (2) wheat or triticale (3) milk (4) mustard (5) tree nuts (6) eggs (7) fish, shellfish and crustaceans (8) sesame and (9) soy.


Although it's safer to offer non-food surprises to allergic children, if you decide to offer candy, make sure that its individual packaging contains a list of ingredients.


Distributing candy

Make sure the front of your house is well lit.

Clear the way so you can walk around without tripping or injuring yourself.

Keep pets indoors in a separate room to avoid accidents (fear, allergies, escape, etc.).


Children's excitement and the constant coming and going can stress your pets and may cause reactive or unusual behavior, such as jumping on children or even biting.

Bright accessories and loud noises can scare them away.

Be careful to keep sweets and wrappers out of their reach. For your companions, eating candy can cause serious health problems that can lead to death, such as kidney failure, convulsions or choking.


Safety between pedestrians and drivers



Be even more attentive and alert than usual.

Avoid all distractions. For example, wait until you've stopped to change the song or answer the phone.

Be patient and drive slowly to avoid, for example, a collision with a child who has forgotten the safety rules and ventured to cross the road between two parked cars.



Costumed pedestrians need to be able to see and move easily, and should have reflective strips on their costume, especially if it's dark. In this way, they can circulate safely and see and be seen.

It's important to be vigilant at all times.

Cross carefully at crosswalks and intersections. In short, NEVER cross between parked cars.



Of course, the previous tips on keeping your pets safe also apply to parties. While it may seem fun to involve your furry best friend in the festivities, it's not a good idea.

Clear the space as best you can to prevent guests from tripping and injuring themselves. For example, if you have a coffee table in the living room, move it to a bedroom.

Avoid total darkness. For example, dim the lights in the main room and turn on the lights in the main passageways (e.g. the one leading to the toilet).

Use small battery-operated lanterns to light your pumpkins, rather than real candles, to avoid the risk of fire.

Impaired driving is NEVER a good idea. Use a ride-hailing service, such as Zero Tolerance, to get your guests home safely.

Don't serve alcohol to guests under the legal drinking age to avoid being held responsible for an accident caused by an intoxicated minor.


Learn what to do in the event of an incident

Of course, the best way to celebrate with peace of mind is to be able to intervene if an incident occurs. Learning the basics of first aid is just a few hours of your time that could one day make all the difference!


Learn at your own pace with our 100% online courses -> See courses


Celebrating Halloween with diabetes

Although Halloween is a terrifying holiday, a diagnosis of diabetes shouldn't be one of the things that inspires fear on this day. For young and old alike, the right preparation can make this monstrously fun event enjoyable.


Check that the adults in charge (teachers, caregivers, other parents, etc.) have the necessary information, such as ;

how much candy can be eaten, and which treats should be avoided ;

the right amount of insulin for the circumstances;

identifying the signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and what to do if such a situation occurs;


Dress appropriately to avoid cold and low blood sugar.

Make sure that the pump and glucometer remain within easy reach despite the costume.

Have a plan for safe candy-tasting during and after the event.



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Article written in collaboration with Laurie Lévesque, content creator


Émilie Bédard

Communications Manager