Young children, older children and even teenagers love Halloween and the chance to get out and collect some yummy sweets with their friends! But as the streets fill up with children and the sugar rush starts to kick in, it is really important to have some rules to keep everyone safe whilst having fun!
Plan your route in advance
Trick-or-treating can mean venturing a few roads away from home. Depending on the age of your little ones this can lead to sort feet and grumpy little monkeys! Try and plan a route before you leave home that avoids long paths or unfamiliar routes to stop children getting lost.
Use a buddy system
As your children get a little older, they may not want their parents tagging along while they trick-or-treat. Of course, you know best when it comes to your children however we would not recommend letting children under the age of 12 trick or treat without adult supervision. For children older than this who wish to venture out without you…make sure they do so in groups for added safety. Most importantly, make sure no one ends up alone. Make sure that the adventurous and the slightly shyer children have someone with them at all times.
Stay on the pavement
Despite our little ones being sensible and usually very cautious when it comes to road safety…it seems that come Halloween and all the fancy dress – all bets are off! It is especially important that you take extra care and be extra vigilant when driving to keep our little ones safe even when the moment takes them!
Simple things like looking both ways when crossing the road, always using proper crossing points and making sure not to run out between parked cars will make all the difference. Also take extra care when crossing peoples gardens/lawns in the dark as you don’t know what unfamiliar obstacles and decorations there may be lurking at this time of year!
No matter how cool your child’s costume may be, it shouldn’t forego safety. If the costume is dark in colour, try adding reflective tape to ‘make it even cooler’ but also to ensure that it can be seen by drivers on the road. Also, carry a flashlight with you to keep your child’s path lit at all times. Even try giving the kids glowsticks to carry with them – we’re sure they won’t say no to that!
Make sure costumes fit well
Costumes that are too long can drag on the floor and be a tripping hazard, especially when it is dark. Make sure your children’s costumes are the right size. If necessary make sure to alter them so that they don’t cause any unwanted problems on the big night!
Masks might look cool, but you should proceed with caution when it comes to adding one to your child’s costume. Masks can make it difficult for your child to see or breathe. Where possible, skip the mask altogether and use non-toxic face paint to complete their costume instead.
Weapons and accessories
Teehee, don’t worry, we’re not talking for you! Where possible we recommend not allowing weapons as accessories for the kids’ costumes. But if your child’s costume absolutely won’t be complete without the weapon, make sure it is rubber or plastic to avoid any injuries!
Be mindful of what treats you hand out
Bear in mind other children when it comes to Halloween safety. If you have little tots living nearby then consider choosing treats that will be safe for them to eat without risk of choking. If you have little ones yourself then make sure to check their treat-bag for anything that may be risky for them too.
Peanut based treats are another one to avoid in case any trick or treaters have allergies. If you do choose chocolate or funsize bags, just leave the Snickers and M&M Peanuts out of the offering (waste-not, want-not…it means you get to enjoy them instead!)
Check your child’s sweets at the end of the night
Be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened. We’re sure it would be fine but it really isn’t worth taking the risk!
Finally, whether you are trick or treating or simply driving home from a long day at the office…just take extra care. We absolutely don’t want any accidents or issues to take the fun out of what can be a wonderful night for our children. So drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances if you are behind the wheel.
And for those brave, ahem, we mean wonderful parents who volunteer to lead the trick or treating troops – take a flash light, plan your route and make sure the kids share some of their treats with you for all your hard work!
*Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.