Are you heading out Trick or Treating this year with the little ones? Here are our tips for a safe and fun evening.
Plan your route in advance
Everything looks a little different in the dark and if you’re not too familiar with the footpaths around your house, or the areas you’re looking to Trick or Treat in, it’s advisable to plan your route in advance.
If you’re heading out Trick or Treating on foot, set out beforehand in daylight hours to familiarise yourself with the area. Time the route too so you get a feel for what is sufficient time and what may be too long. Look for residential areas near you that are well-lit. And avoid dark alleys, tunnels and large open spaces like car parks.
This is also a good idea if you’re letting the older ones out on their own for the first time. You’ll know where they and when you can expect them home.
Carry a torch with you
As even in a well-lit residential area or housing estate, it can be pretty dark. You want to be aware of what is ahead and around you at all times. Additionally, it is an essential tool to carry with you in case you do lose your way (and you need to save your phone battery!).
Ensure that there are high-vis strips on dark costumes
You don’t go out Trick or Treating until it is dark and costumes are generally quite dark too. It makes it difficult for oncoming traffic and other pedestrians to see you clearly and well in advance.
We get you or your little ones won’t want to ruin costumes with a high-vis jacket so we’d suggest getting some high-vis/reflective tape. It can be sewn to the clothes in either strips or smaller patches all over to help you standout from the crowd.
Make sure costumes are not trip hazards
If you’re heading out Trick or Treating, it’s imperative that costumes fit appropriately. You don’t want cloaks or dresses too long, or dangling beards or fabrics that cause a trip or fall. It’s not just for yours or your little one’s safety but everyone around you. The last thing you want is a trip to A&E.
Also, on the note of costumes, ensure everyone is wearing appropriate footwear and that shoes are done up securely.
Ensure the little ones go in pairs, holding hands
If you’re taking a few little ones out, have them buddy up with another little one or an adult and have them form a line. This will make it easier to spot anyone not in the group and will help everyone to look out for each other. It’ll also help make the experience a little less daunting for the children.
Be respectful- of those that don’t want to participate and those that do
Be sure to set some ground rules before heading out with your little ones:
- Knock or ring the doorbell once- it may not be immediately obvious as to which houses are participating and those that aren’t in Halloween traditions.
- Encourage them, as much as possible, that when the door is answered they shout ‘Trick or Treat’- from someone on the other side of the door, it’s a little weird when the kids just stand there expecting sweets.
- Ensure that they abide by a one piece per person rule, unless otherwise encouraged.
- Remind them to be gracious and thankful to those that participate and give them candy.
Do not accept candy that isn’t wrapped/check them at the end
There’s a lot of scaremongering when it comes taking candy from strangers on Halloween. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry. At the end of the night, before allowing your children to tuck in, be sure to go through the candy first.
Look for any damaged or broken wrappings and discard those pieces. Remove anything that you’re unsure of. And of course, it’s an opportunity for you to remove sweets deemed inappropriate for their age, e.g. you may not want your very young children to have hard or boiled candies, or dispose of candies your little ones may be allergic to.
We appreciate these are things that you’re already probably aware of, but certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded. If you simply can’t face heading out this year, we’ve lots of suggestions for things you can do at home. Check our ideas out below.