Trick or treating for most children is the highlight of Halloween. A chance to dress as goblins and ghouls to collect more sweets than they probably get all year!
But even with all this spooky excitement, it’s important to consider trick-or-treating safety!
But before we dive in, have you checked that it’s age-appropriate?
Trick or treating can be done at any age but it’s generally recommended that children under the age of 2 don’t go asking for treats but instead go to show off their costumes and have new interactions with adults.
Now let’s get into our top safety tips:
1. Children need an adult with them
Young children especially, need at least one adult to go trick-or-treating with them to keep the children safe, happy and on the route. We recommend forming groups with other parents in the area if possible.
This doesn’t just make things a bit safer (with multiple adults supervising) but also a good opportunity for the children to develop their communication and socialising skills.
2. Keep in mind costume safety
Shop-bought costumes are often not fire-resistant so it’s important to be careful particularly around pumpkins with real candles inside. If you’re putting out pumpkins, be sure to use battery-powered candles.
If a costume does catch on fire, the advice from the National Fire Protection Association is to: Stop, Drop and Roll.
· Stop – the individual must stop as movement may fan the flames.
· Drop – the individual must drop to the ground, lying down if possible, covering their face with their hands.
· Roll – the individual must roll on the ground to try and extinguish the fire by depriving it of oxygen.
Halloween costumes are classified as toys rather than clothes so they’re not subject to the same safety tests and regulations as regular clothing.
Also, if you or your little one is wearing a mask, wig or other costume be sure that it doesn’t restrict eyesight or movement.
3. Plan your trick-or-treat route
Map out a trick-or-treating route in safe, well-lit residential areas. Stay on the pavement and take care crossing the road.
Also, be sure to only knock on the doors of homes that have Halloween decorations.
Children can get excited, especially after seeing a decorated house, so having an extra adult there can be helpful to ensure no one runs across the road or gets away from the group.
4. Set off early
With the clocks being set back it’ll be dark around 5pm. Keep this in mind when planning what time you want to set out.
You should also consider how long you want to be out trick or treating. This will likely depend on your little one’s age – will they get tired? Bored? Hungry? Or need the potty?
5. Be safe in the dark
Add reflective accessories to outfits to help children stand out after dark.
Costumes can also do this; orange stands out and so do bright white materials. Glow-in-the-dark or fluorescent face paints and accessories can also help stand out in the dark.
6. Take a torch
A lantern or lit pumpkin head doesn’t just add to the spookiness but also will help with visibility when out and about.
7. Road safety
This is self-explanatory but it can be easy to forget in all the excitement.
Both adults and children need to remember to check both ways properly before crossing the road, using pedestrian crossings where possible and never using a mobile phone whilst crossing the road.
8. Party safety
And finally, a note on parties.
Halloween parties can be super fun but there are some things to consider:
· Trip hazards – making things spooky often involves turning off the lights, in this instance be sure that any trip hazards including tables and chairs are someplace safe.
· Apple Bobbing – this traditional and fun activity isn’t always safe… Why not try an alternative like stringing up ring doughnuts or other Halloween treats!
· Wands and other accessories – if your child is dressing up as a witch or wizard their costume will most likely be incomplete without a wand. It’s important to keep in mind these can hurt if someone is accidentally hit.
Here are some additional resources for more information!