Everything you need to know about trick-or-treating safety

Halloween can be one of the best times of the year for children, but trick-or-treating makes most parents nervous for a numerous list of reasons.

Trick-or-treating is a very exciting time for children.
With the fun of dressing up and surprise of seeing all the other costumes, dangers can be quickly forgotten.
Halloween can be one of the best times of the year for children, but trick-or-treating makes most parents nervous for a numerous list of reasons.

However, with a few simple precautions, everyone can safely have fun.
Young Children: 
  • Young children should always have a responsible adult with them while going door-to-door on Halloween night.
  • Set off early - with the clocks going back, it will be dark by 5pm. Don't leave it too late to venture out and plan to be home within an hour.
  • Their clothing or costume should be labelled with your name, address, and phone number in case you get separated.
  • Make your child easy to see by adding reflective tape or stickers to their costume.
  • Talk to your child about the safety risks associated with Halloween and tell them how to lessen the risks.
  • If your child has a mobile phone, make sure they have it in their possession when they go out, that it is charged and has credit so they can ring for help if needed.
  • Remind children about "stranger danger" and the importance of not talking to people they do not know. This also means skipping houses that do not have lights on or houses with big and dark gardens.
  • Keep in contact with older friends, neighbours and relatives - remember Halloween can be a frightening time for some people.
  • Teach your child to respect other people's well-being, safety and peace of mind.
Older Children:
  • Older children can go in groups but must agree not to split up.
  • Agree with them to be home by a certain time.
  • Agree with the children beforehand which roads they have permission to trick or treat on.
  • Have them bring a torch with them with fresh batteries.
  • Remind children to walk on the path and be cautious when crossing the road and not to cross between parked cars. 
  • Tell children to go only to homes and neighbours they know and only to houses with lights on.
  • Remind them that not every neighbour will want to take part and to respect the privacy of older people who may not open the door.
  • Remind them to say thank you!
  • Tell children to turn down all invitations to enter a home. No matter what.
If a child's costume catches on fire the advice from The National Fire Protection Association is to: Stop, Drop and Roll.
  • Stop – the fire victim must stop, ceasing any movement which may fan the flames or hamper those attempting to put the fire out.
  • Drop – the fire victim must drop to the ground, lying down if possible, covering their face with their hands to avoid facial injury.
  • Roll – the fire victim must roll on the ground in an effort to extinguish the fire by depriving it of oxygen. If the victim is on a rug or one is nearby, they can roll the rug around themselves to further extinguish the flame.
Written by Laura Doyle staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.

Laura Doyle

Mum of four, Gentle parent living on coffee and trying always to stay positive and motivate in the midst of the madness.

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