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Halloween pumpkins 2022 10 18 111500 qemk

Halloween can be great fun for the whole family, but naked flames and cheap plastic costumes can be a dangerous combination.

There are multiple dangers associated with the American tradition of 'trick-or-treat'. Here are just a few tips to keep youngsters as safe as they can be if they are venturing out to visit friends and neighbours on a dark evening:

For parents:

• Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material
• Avoid cheap floaty materials which may catch fire easily
• Place strips of reflective tape on the back and front of costumes, so drivers can better see your child
• Dress your child for the weather. Add layers if needed

If your child is going out without an adult:

• Make sure your child is in a group of at least three people
• Give them a torch. A mobile phone is also a good idea if you have one.
• Discuss in advance the route they should follow. Ask them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn’t on the route
• Avoid crossing main roads if possible

For children:

• Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger’s house
• Avoid houses you know which have frail or vulnerable owners. They may not share your enthusiasm for Halloween!!
• Try and visit houses of friends, family or immediate neighbours if possible
• Be aware of candles or naked flames on doorsteps
• Should the worst happen and your costume catches fire – STOP, DROP and ROLL

For homeowners:

• Turn on outdoor lights, and replace burnt-out bulbs
• Remove items from your drive or porch that might trip a child
• Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway
• Use an alternative to candles in your pumpkins, such as a torch, LED or a battery-operated candle
• Remember that some children have food allergies. Consider giving other simple treats such as stickers, pens or a yo-yo
• Put a polite notice on your door if you do not wish to have trick or treat visitors

For drivers:

  • Be aware of small groups on pavements and possibly crossing roads
  • Drive to the conditions which may be slippery due to wet leaves and visibility may be poor
  • Slow down in residential areas where groups (sometimes in dark clothing) may be crossing the road