It’s almost Halloween and, much as I adore it, I have very mixed feelings about trick or treating. In this post I’ll cover some trick or treating safety tips to help keep your kids out of harm’s way – whether they are little ones or teens.
Love it or hate it?
Opinion seems to be thoroughly polarised between those who think trick or treating is a harmless and fun activity and those who think it’s akin to begging and threatening behaviour.
So where do you stand?
Have you ever turned all the lights out on Halloween just to avoid the constant ringing of the doorbell Have you secretly prayed that those knocking will go away and, when they do, won’t shove something horrid through your letterbox or cover your car in eggs and flour?
And there’s the problem.
In a way, it’s a shame that, as in so many other occasions in life, the behaviour of a few spoils it for the masses.
Our Family Halloween
For the past few years, I have put on a Halloween tea for the family. Mum and Dad come round and we try to scare my father to death by dangling fake spiders in the toilet.
The house is decorated with the supermarket’s finest and Mr Bones (our skeleton friend) makes his annual appearance.
We always have buckets of sweets ready and it is the Husband’s duty to carve the pumpkins to light the way for any passing revellers.
Very often the callers come early in the evening escorted by their parents and the little ones are dressed to the spooky nines and look incredibly cute.
Later on, in the evening sees the odd sulky teen who might be wearing vampire fangs and a smear of fake blood who is happy to take a pound for their trouble.
Caitlin and Ieuan are regularly campaigning to be allowed to go trick or treating but in all honesty, I am really not keen on the idea.
They certainly couldn’t go unescorted but, because our village, Dinas Powys, has a large proportion of elderly residents, it isn’t really somewhere that you could knock on loads of random doors.
I suppose you could just go to those houses where there are Halloween decorations or lit pumpkins but it all seems like a lot of effort for a few sweets when you could celebrate at home with your family.
Leaving aside the increased risk of anti-social behaviour on Halloween, there is, in any case, the issue of child safety.
So if you are going trick or treating, remember the following safety tips.
Trick or Treating Safety Tips
For Younger Children
- make sure there are enough adults to keep a close eye on them
- 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
- remember to take buckets for the kids to collect their treats in
- give sweets to your pets and be aware that they may be more nervous than usual
- let little ones take sweets that might be a choking hazard – e.g bubble gum or boiled sweets
- bother people in houses where the lights are off and there are no Halloween decorations
- turn up without at least a couple of ‘tricks’ to play!
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)
- advise your teens NOT to share their itinerary on Facebook or Snapchat
- check they’re not secreting stocks of flour, eggs or alcohol!
- remind them that their personal safety comes first
- make sure Mum or Dad’s taxi is ready to go in case you need to pick them up.
This year we’re playing safe again and going to our local Halloween night at the St Fagans National Museum of History where we’ll see plenty of spooky characters and the Burning Man.
Will your kids be trick or treating this Halloween?
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