Trick or treating safety tips

Make this year’s Halloween a fun, spooky and safe evening with Primary Times

The brighter the better – If your child is going trick-or-treating after dark, opting for a brightly coloured costume or attaching reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape to a treat bag will act as a safety measure for any oncoming traffic while children are crossing the road.

Nobody left behind – Make sure at least one adult is accompanying primary school children while they are trick-or-treating. Encourage older children to trick-or-treat with friends, parents or older siblings to provide safety in numbers. In case your child gets separated for any reason, make sure you write an address and a contact number inside your child’s pocket or treat bag. Make sure at least one person has a torch to carry in case of emergencies.

Know the area – Try trick-or-treating in an area that everybody knows relatively well. Drawing a map of your neighbourhood and deciding on a familiar route can make it clear to everybody where you will be going, which doors you’ll be knocking on, and what areas will be off limits due to distance or danger.

Inspect before indulging – Provide an early dinner before going out trick-or-treating so your child won’t fill up on treats throughout the journey. Always inspect a full treat bag before allowing your child to eat anything, especially if they have an allergy or intolerance. Discard anything that is not sealed correctly, has torn packaging, could be a major choking hazard if it’s for young children, or simply looks questionable to you.

Covid-19 Safety – If you are putting treats out for other trick-or-treaters, try leaving a bowl out on your doorstep with a ‘please take one’ note instead of answering the door. If you prefer to answer the door for trick-or-treaters, try to always keep an appropriate distance. To stop many hands rummaging through the same treat bowl all night, create individual goodie bags to give out to each child – these can range from handcrafted spooky themed bags, to some spare sandwich bags. While trick-or-treating, make sure your child knows not to swap masks or props with anybody else and doesn’t dig around a treat bowl to find their favourite. Bring a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you if needed.

An alternative – Perhaps you are concerned about trick-or-treating this year with Covid-19 still actively a part of our lives, or perhaps you just aren’t fond of the unhealthy tradition but still want your children to have a fun-filled evening. An alternative to trick-or-treating that provides just as much entertainment without even having to leave the house is a hidden treats game. Simply hide some treats around the house, turn the lights out, and let your child search with their treat bag and torch in hand. The best part is that you have full control of the treats on offer. Try providing healthier hidden treats by using raisins, popcorn, sugar-free sweets, chocolate covered fruit or even use small toys instead of food. Writing out some riddles as clues to the hiding places can also make the game more challenging and rewarding.

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