Halloween is one of the most fun and exciting days of the year – but it’s important that your children know how to stay safe while trick or treating.
Read our Halloween safety tips to make sure everyone has a safe and happy Halloween.
Trick or treat safety guide
Don’t go out alone
It goes without saying that your child shouldn’t go trick or treating alone. There should ideally be an adult present for kids under 12 – although you can stay quite far back as a safety net – but if not, make sure that they’re in a group of at least three and that you’ve agreed a set route so you know where they’ll be.
It’s never a bad idea to walk the route ahead of time so they know exactly where to cross the road. At least one of them should also have a phone for emergencies – although remind them not to look at it while walking.
Make sure your child is easy to spot
One of the biggest dangers on Halloween is traffic – so make sure your child is easy to spot while they’re out trick or treating. We’d recommend picking a light-coloured or bright costume that’s easy for drivers to see and if you can, attach some reflective tape to your child’s costume and trick or treat bag. Costumes like this fireman come with reflective strips already part of it!
Glow sticks are another great way to stay visible. Pick up some glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces for your children to wear while they’re out and about, or wear a glow stick mask. You should also give them a torch, in case it gets too dark too fast!
Avoid tripping hazards
If your child’s costume is too long, they’re likely to trip up while they’re out and about. Make sure trousers, dresses and capes are no longer than ankle length.
Dress for the weather
It can be quite chilly by the 31st October, so make sure your child is wrapped up warm. Halloween costumes can be quite thin so we’d recommend putting a layer or two underneath – with a costume like this bloody raincoat George from IT, you can easily layer up underneath without ruining the spooky illusion.
Opt for face paint instead of masks
Scary Halloween masks are so much fun, and perfect for parties, but they can be a hazard while trick-or-treating as they affect peripheral vision. While they’re crossing roads at night, maybe choose to paint their faces instead – you could even go with some neon face paint so they really stand out! Just remember to take it off before bed.
Try not to eat while you’re out
Eating while you’re walking is a choking hazard and distraction, so ask the kids to wait until you get home to tuck into all the delicious sweets they’ve collected – this has the added benefit of allowing you to check that their sweets are suitable first.
Help them stay strong with a good meal or snack before they leave the house!
Tips for home-owners
Turn on outdoor lights
It gets dark early in October so make sure you turn on any outdoor lights so trick or treaters can see where they’re going. If you don’t have any outdoor lights, turn on the lights in the front room of your house. It’s great if you can do this for neighbours to keep all the kids safe, but be warned that it might be seen as a sign you’re open for trick-or-treating.
Make it clear if you’re not handing out sweets
Thankfully it’s not common in the UK for houses to be egged or otherwise punished for not answering the door or handing out sweets, but you can save the kids a trip up your path and yourself from getting up every 10 minutes for the door by hanging banners asking them to move on. We’ve even designed some so you don’t feel like a buzzkill but can make your intentions known!
Remove tripping hazards
Tripping over is another Halloween hazard – so make sure the neighbourhood children stay safe while trick or treating by removing anything they could trip over in the dark. If you have steps leading up to your door you might want to consider using some fairy lights to highlight where they are.
Let trick or treaters know they’re welcome
It’s a good idea to decorate the front of your house to let trick or treaters know they’re welcome to knock! Pumpkins are the universally accepted “we’re open for Halloween” signal, so either get your carved pumpkin out there, print off some Halloween bunting or decorate your front garden with something fun like these huge inflatable pumpkins!
Avoid open flames in pumpkins
It’s not safe to put open flames in pumpkins – particularly when they’re in places where they could be knocked over by trick or treaters (like on porches). We’d recommend using LED candles like these instead – they’re battery powered and won’t cause a fire hazard.
Tips for Drivers
If you are driving in residential areas this Halloween, make sure to go slowly, have your lights on nice and early, and be patient with groups crossing the road. Kids might be more excitable, and that might make driving safely difficult – if you’re a new driver or less confident with your skills, maybe try not to drive that night.