Halloween and ‘trick or treating’ is the time for dressing up and being scary for fun, without anyone meaning harm to anyone else. But to make sure it stays being fun, you need to pay attention to a few ground rules to keep yourself and others safe from harm.
Plan Your route
First of all, plan your route for visiting houses to make sure you don’t go too far and into areas you don’t know well. Make sure that someone else knows where you are going, too. That way, someone will always be able to find you if they need to.
Decide who is going with you and what they need to bring
Have torches or glo-sticks in the group so people can see you coming and at least one mobile phone. Young children need an adult with them and even older children should go in groups with an adult close by. Don’t go alone!
Find something suitable to wear
If you are dressing-up, wear costumes that are not flammable and are visible in the dark. They will be labelled to say they are safe. Use make-up that you know won’t harm your skin. And if you’re using props- like swords or wands or broomsticks- they need to be safe. Use soft play toys with no sharp points and use them with care!
It’s all in the timing! Don’t leave it too late to go out or wait until it’s completely dark. It will be less safe and you’ll get fewer doors answered the later you leave it.
Mind the traffic, watch where you are going and don’t run!
Not everyone will be expecting groups of witches and ghosts to be emerging from the deepening darkness!
Stick to your route and choose your houses well
Houses that are decorated for Halloween and have lots of lights on are more likely to be expecting a knock at the door than houses that are dark. Lanterns and candles might light the way and make you welcome, but make sure you keep away from naked flames even though your costume is marked as being safe.
Don’t try to pat any dogs that come to the door with their owner and don’t go through gates that say ‘Beware of the dog’. You might have a lot of chocolate to tempt them, or you might scare them by looking strange, so even quiet dogs might get ‘spooked’!.
Some people don’t want a call, so if no-one answers- take the hint and walk away!
When someone does answer your knock or a ring at the bell, you can’t be sure how they’ll react so always be polite and respectful and jolly. Threats and rudeness never get you anywhere. And remember that no matter how nice someone is, unless you know them really well and the adult with you agrees, you never go into the house. Stay on the doorstep.
Beware of doing ‘tricks’. Some ideas aren’t as funny as they might seem. Concentrate on getting treats and avoid the trick part!
Always say thank you
Don’t judge and compare what one person gives you with another- not everyone will have planned for visiting children and not everyone will want to celebrate with you.
Whatever you are given, don’t start eating your treats before you have finished your Halloween adventure! Keep the treats for sharing and eating at home, when you can see what you really have! Pile your treats together and share them fairly between everyone in the group. (Don’t forget that your adult might like one!) Only eat sweets and chocolate that were wrapped up when they were given to you.
And most of all, have fun with your friends and family. Happy Halloween!