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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.

Glowing halloween pumkins with carved spooky faces against a black background

There are many risks associated with the tradition of 'trick-or-treating'. Here are some helpful tips to help keep everyone safe:

For parents:

  • 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.

For children:

  • 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.

For homeowners:

  • 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:

Humberside Police No Trick or Treaters Poster
Humberside Police no trick or treaters poster

For drivers:

  • 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.