Halloween tends to polarise opinion, doesn’t it? Some people (like me) love it whilst others just want to lock their doors, switch their lights off and wait for 1st November. Certainly, over the years here in the UK we have seen a growth in the celebration and commercialism of this pagan festival and trick or treating is a big part of that.
If you let your kids go out and about on All Hallows’ Eve (to give it the correct name), then you need to ensure that you keep kids safe (and that includes tweens and teens) by teaching them personal safety tips and ensuring that there is adequate adult supervision.
For younger kids, Halloween may also be a time when you need to manage your little ones’ anxiety because it can be quite a scary time for younger children. It may be wiser not to make a fuss about witches and ghouls and just tuck your kids up with a soothing drink and read them a comforting, non-scary bedtime story.
Pets, too, are often not great fans of Halloween or Bonfire Night celebrations and you’ll find some helpful tips for keeping your cats and dogs happy and calm in this post.
If you are planning to head out dressed in all your frightening finery, here are some tips to keep kids safe.
Make sure there are enough adults to keep a close eye on them. We advise our children not to talk to strangers for the rest of the year and it shouldn’t be any different on Halloween.
Check that children’s costumes have something brightly coloured or glow in the dark so that you can easily spot them.
Ensure that children’s Halloween costumes comply with European Regulations and have been flammability tested to the EN71 Standard.
Keep them away from candles and lit pumpkins and take plenty of torches or glow sticks to light the way.
Encourage the kids to take wrapped sweets and make sure you are aware of any allergies before setting off.
Don’t give sweets to your pets and be aware that they may be more nervous than usual.
Don’t bother people in houses where the lights are off and there are no Halloween decorations.
Don’t turn up without at least a couple of ‘tricks’ to play and remember to take buckets for the kids to collect their treats in.
If your teens are going trick or treating, make sure you know who they are going with and what time they will be back.
Mobiles should be charged (they can also be used as torches if need be) and, ideally, your teens shouldn’t be sharing their itinerary on Facebook or Snapchat.
You might also want to make sure they’re not secreting stocks of flour, eggs or alcohol!
Above all, remind them that their personal safety comes first and prepare Mum or Dad’s taxi just in case you need to pick them up.
Teaching our kids as early as possible about personal safety will only stand them in good stead in later life and give them a chance to develop their street smarts. You can find loads more personal safety tips and ideas to stay safe around the home all year round in this helpful article from Verisure.
If you don’t want to go out then why not hold a family movie night and watch some ‘age appropriate’ scary movies.
There are loads of great books for Halloween and older children may enjoy reading stories about ghosts and monsters.
There are lots of simple Halloween crafts that younger children may enjoy or how about baking some Halloween cookies or scary cupcakes? You’ll find some great ideas for all things Halloween on my Pinterest board here.
Then, of course, there are the traditional Halloween games such as bobbing for apples or you could host a dancing competition and all do your best version of the Monster Mash.
Have a happy, and safe Halloween!