Halloween can be a fun time for the whole family, but poor judgment can turn the evening into a nightmare! Aside from fire safety issues involving candles, synthetic based costumes, awareness of road safety and child protection issues are just as important.
There are many risks associated with the tradition of 'trick-or-treating'. Here are some helpful tips to help keep everyone safe:
- Create or purchase costumes made from light-coloured materials.
- Avoid were possible, plastic and synthetic fabrics that can easily catch fire.
- Attach strips of reflective tape to both the front and back of costumes, enhancing visibility for drivers.
- Dress your child appropriately for the weather and consider adding extra layers if necessary.
If your child is going out without an adult:
- Make sure your child is part of a group of at least three.
- Provide them with a torch and if available, a charged mobile phone.
- Discuss the agreed route they should follow and instruct them to contact you if they intend to go a different way.
- Whenever possible, avoid crossing main roads and railway crossings.
- Don't go to houses that are really dark, and never go into a stranger's house.
- Avoid going to houses where older or vulnerable people live, as they might not like Halloween as much as you do!
- Try to visit the homes of your friends, family, or nearby neighbours.
- Watch out for candles near doorsteps.
- If your costume catches fire, remember to STOP, DROP, and ROLL.
- Turn on outdoor lights and replace any bulbs that are not working.
- Remove things from your driveway or porch that could make a child trip.
- Clear away wet leaves from your steps and driveway.
- Use things like torches, LED lights, or battery-operated candles instead of real candles for your decorations.
- Some kids have allergies, so think about offering treats like stickers, pens or stamps.
- If you don't want to take part in trick-or-treating, you can put a polite note/poster on your door, like this one from Humberside Police:
Download the poster:
- Be careful when you see small groups of people walking on the pavement and near places where they might cross the road.
- Drive to road conditions and speed limits.
- Slow down in neighbourhoods where there might be groups of people, sometimes wearing dark clothes, crossing the road.