When your kids go trick-or-treating, you want them to have fun, but also to be safe. The following tips will focus on safety tips, from knowing where to go to make sure their costumes won’t become a safety hazard. Many of us are unable to take part this year due to local lockdown restrictions but I understand that if you are in Tier 2 or lower then you can still go trick or treating.
Keep the Costumes Short
Kids get excited when they go out trick-or-treating, often running down the street and upstairs to get to people’s porches. If your kids have long costumes that reach to their feet, they might trip over them and get seriously injured. You don’t want your kids falling down the stairs or tripping over their costume in the middle of the street. Costumes with superhero capes, long dresses or gowns might be a little too long. Make sure you have your kids try them on and walk around with the shoes they intend to wear so you know if hemming needs to be done.
Make Trick-or-Treating a Family Event
While teenagers can usually go out on their own, you should not send your younger kids alone trick-or-treating. Even when they are in your own neighbourhood, it will take a lot of stress off your mind if you walk around with them. This can become a fun annual tradition where you send them around the neighbourhood to get their candy, then when they return, you can make your big Halloween dinner and sit down for some crafts or to watch Halloween movies.
Be Safe While Walking
When you head out on your trick-or-treating adventure, practice caution even when you are out with your kids. Remove their masks on occasion so they can breathe, as some of them are very constricting. Be careful not to walk down the street, even if you see other families walking down the street. Stick to the sidewalks or the bike lanes if the sidewalks are full. Be wary of any houses that have loud, barking dogs. Avoid houses that are not well lit out front and never accept an invitation to go inside.
Keep Your Own Home Safe
You also want your own home to be safe for trick-or-treaters even if you will be at home handing out candy. Make sure your front yard is well lit not just with the porch light, but by placing battery-operated lights in your pumpkins and having other lights outside turned on. If it rained recently, put out rugs so kids don’t sleep on the steps. Sweep away any leaves for the same purpose. Keep your dogs inside and restrained just in case.
More 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
- ensure that children’s costumes don’t have extended or trailing features which may be a tripping hazard or easily ignitable
- 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.
- In the UK anti-social behaviour such as throwing eggs and flour at houses and cars could lead to a police visit and a criminal record
- Some folks will display a ‘No Trick Or Treat’ sign to actively discourage visitors on Halloween.
- Pumpkins should never be left unattended indoors if they contain a naked flame. Consider using a flashlight instead of a candle.
- Impress upon your kids that they should avoid frightening people, especially the elderly.
Whilst many will view trick or treating as harmless fun, there are others who find it intimidating and unpleasant.
Personally, I think it’s just for the little ones – with full parental supervision.