Treat Accessibly joins forces with RE/MAX and Home Depot Canada for third year, to encourage Canadians to adopt accessible and safe trick-or-treating practices
- Recent survey says close to 80 per cent of parents with kids ages three to nine years are seeking a safer trick-or-treating option this Halloween
- In a COVID-19 recovery-focused Canada, the accessible trick-or-treating movement helps all families look forward to a safer Halloween
Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition that most children look forward to, but even reaching the front door of a neighbour’s home can be a challenge for kids with accessibility issues. The Treat Accessibly movement aims to make a small change by encouraging communities to celebrate Halloween in an accessible way that’s inclusive of more than 400,000 Canadian children and youth who live with accessibility issues.
Now in its third year, the Treat Accessibly campaign is even more relevant in 2020, in the midst of COVID-19. Halloween is bound to be different this year, but provided that local governments and public health agencies advise it is safe to do so, Treat Accessibly’s goal is to make trick-or-treating safer, socially distanced and accessible to all.
The Treat Accessibly movement began in 2017 at one home in Etobicoke, Ontario, with a single lawn sign designed by small business owner and father Rich Padulo, who set a precedent to promote accessibility awareness and adoption as a standard practice. The bright orange sign indicates the resident’s willingness to hand out Halloween treats from an accessible area near their home, such as the foot of the driveway or the sidewalk. By 2019, with the help of RE/MAX and Home Depot, 25,000 homes across Canada were participating in the Treat Accessibly movement by posting their own orange lawn sign.
Government of Saskatchewan Neighbourhood Trick-or-Treating Guidelines.
- Two metres distance must be maintained between individuals who are not in the same household/extended household at all times.
- No direct physical contact should occur between trick-or-treaters and people distributing Halloween treats.
- Participants should consider using tools (e.g. tongs) to distribute candy at a distance.
- Physical distancing must be used when approaching houses (i.e. wait until group ahead is gone, take turns). For houses or neighbourhoods anticipating a high volume of trick-or-treaters, people distributing candy are encouraged to place tape markers every two metres between doorways and sidewalks/driveways to promote physical distancing.
- Due to the number of people potentially touching the treats prior to being handed out, consider cleaning candy wrappers with disinfectant wipes or holding the treats for 72 hours before consuming.
- Only wrapped, store-bought treats should be distributed.
- Common touch areas (e.g. handrails, doorbells, doorknobs, etc.) should be frequently cleaned and disinfected while distributing candy.
- Trick-or-treaters should practise frequent hand hygiene by carrying portable hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).
- People distributing candy should practise frequent hand hygiene while handing out Halloween treats.
- Trick-or-treaters should consider incorporating non-medical masks (e.g. cloth or other materials) into their costumes, while ensuring their eyes are not covered for safety reasons.
- Individuals handing out candy should consider wearing non-medical masks (e.g. cloth or other materials) where two metres of physical distance cannot be maintained.
- Where possible, only one household member should hand out candy.
- Alternatives to trick-or-treating may be considered, such as:
- Costume viewing from windows/virtual/photos.
- Decorating households and yards for viewing from afar.
- A costume parade where physical distancing can be maintained.
- Retail outlets must follow the Clothing and Retail Guidelines as part of their operations.
- Outlets handing out candy must ensure they comply with all guidelines specified above for private trick-or-treating.
About Treat Accessibly
Treat Accessibly is a Canadian-based, North American social movement to help millions of differently abled children experience trick-or-treating like everybody else. Their goal is to create positive change by enlisting and enabling homeowners to easily make their homes temporarily accessible on Halloween night, and in doing so, show support and prove it is possible to remove the everyday obstacles the disabled and aging communities currently face in our established traditions, buildings, homes and institutions. www.treataccessibly.com