Who doesn’t love Halloween? The apple bobbing, the costumes and, most of all, going trick or treating. But for parents up and down the country, their top priority isn’t knocking on as many doors as possible, it’s keeping their children safe throughout the evening. So to make sure that this Halloween is full of treats with not a trick in sight, follow our top tips in this guide by security systems specialists, Expert Security UK, and we’re sure kids, and parents alike, will have a truly ‘spooktacular’ – and safe – time.
Big monsters and little monsters
If your children are under the age of 12, then it’s recommended that you accompany them when trick or treating. This eliminates a lot of safety concerns but it’s still important that they know what to do to stay safe. Remind them to stay close to you at all times if they aren’t holding your hand, and make sure they know what to do if they get lost.
Dressing for (spooky) success
Costumes are the most important part of Halloween, second only to the sweets. But there’s plenty of ways to make sure that their outfit is safe as well as scary. Here’s our tips on common sense costuming:
- Whether you make the costume by hand or buy it from the store, make sure it is made from flame retardant material
- Watch out for the length and make sure there are no bits that drag on the floor that could cause someone to trip
- Opt for accessories such as masks and wigs that don’t obstruct your child’s vision
- Any face paint you use should be clearly labelled as non-toxic
- Steer clear of high, fancy or oversized shoes that could make walking difficult. Have your kids wear comfortable trainers when walking around
- If their costume comes with props make sure they are soft and flexible and clearly look like toys
- Add reflective strips to parts of the costumes or encourage them to wear glow sticks as bracelets or necklaces. Or give them a torch (with fresh batteries!) for when the sun goes down
If you want a photo with the full effect of the costume, do the photo shoot before they leave the house so that they can leave any impractical costume pieces or tricky shoes at home.
Plan the haunt route
If your kids are over the age of 12, then chances are they aren’t going to want to go trick or treating with their parents. That’s OK; independence is good! But it also comes with the extra responsibility of keeping themselves safe. Make sure they are fully brushed up on their street safe knowledge:
- Always walk on pavements, never on the roads
- Stick to fully lit streets and don’t walk down alleys or across lawns
- Walk between houses, don’t run
- Always use pedestrian crossings to cross the road – waiting for the green man to show and for traffic
to fully stop before crossing
- Only visit houses with lights on
- Don’t enter strangers’ houses or cars
Sit down with your kids before they head out and make sure you both know who will be in the group they’re trick or treating with. Do you know them? Is the group a substantial size? Also work together to map out the route they will be taking, let them know which houses should be avoided, and give them a curfew to be back home.
Start the scaring earlier
Whether you’re heading out with your younger children, or your older ones are venturing out on their own, it’s best to start as early as possible. Of course we’re not talking about heading out at midday, but the early bird gets the worm, or the candy in this case.
Start your trick or treating when you still have some light on your side. Not only does this give an added layer of safety for all, but it also means that your little ghouls might be able to get their hands on better sweets!
Check all monsters’ treats
Let’s face it, your kids are going to want to tuck into their collected treats as soon as they walk through the door. So let’s make sure they’re doing it safely.
Check all their sweets for any signs of tampering before you let them gobble them down. If there are any open packets or rips in bags we’d recommend you throw them out. If they have been given any homemade cakes or treats it’d be safer to throw these out too if you don’t know who made them, as hard as that may be! Keep an eye on sweets that younger children.