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How To Be Safe At Halloween

It’s almost that time of the year again, when witches and ghouls prowl the darkened streets preying on candy-laden households! Halloween has grown in popularity over the past couple of decades and has definitely joined the growing number of celebratory occasions for kids of all ages. However, it can be a dangerous time if both parents and kids forget to be vigilant. Take a few precautions in advance to ensure that you keep your offspring as safe as possible.

Here are a few tips and ideas to help:

For younger children (under the age of 12 years)

  • Consider a small Halloween gathering at home rather than the traditional street version.
  • If the party idea fails then younger children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult. Even if you remain by the gate of each house, whilst your budding ghost haunts their patch, always keep close watch of their whereabouts.
  • Go at dusk rather than after it becomes pitch-black. You will be able to keep a better eye on your child and also see any potential dangers more easily. Persuade your child by pointing out that they are more likely to get the best treats earlier in the evening.
  • Pick a well-lit route and stick to pavements and only cross busy roads at pedestrian crossings.
  • Add a distinctive flash of fluorescent colour to the costume whenever possible – just in case you need to identify your child quickly in the dark.

Older Children (over the age of 12 years)

  • Older children should never walk the streets alone – a group is always far safer for all concerned. Make sure you know the names of other members of your child’s group and take phone numbers of other parents.
  • Go over the intended route and reiterate that it should always be followed. You will know where to search if you become concerned.
  • If possible get your children to stick to local homes and/or properties where you know the inhabitants.
  • Make sure your child is well aware of road safety and where they can safely cross any roads.
  • Set a return time and be firm.
  • Remind your child that they should never enter any household irrespective of enticements or promises.
  • Your child should know not to accept lifts from anyone – reinforce the information as often as needed beforehand.
  • Costumes need to be well fitting to avoid any trips or falls, particularly on routes where there could be heavy traffic.
    • Masks should be avoided in favour of make-up so that your child has good vision.
    • Reflective strips added to a costume will make them more visible in the dark and during bad weather.
    • Add a distinctive touch of fluorescent colour whenever possible so that you can identify your child if you need to find them quickly.
    • Attach a contact number to the costume just in case of any incident.
  • Battery torches should be carried rather than the traditional lantern with a lit candle. Many costumes are flappy and can easily set alight. Check shop-bought costumes for a fire safety statement. Any garment designed for a child should be made from fire retardant materials. Keep an eye out for candles in pumpkins – particularly on doorsteps where they present a greater risk of catching an outfit alight.
  • It may seem like overkill but try to persuade your child to stick to eating treats which are in the original wrapper and fully intact – there have been cases in the past where sweets/candy has been tampered with.

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