Before you send your kids trick-or-treating, it can help to take some precautionary measures to keep the activity safe:
- Supervise children who are trick-or-treating. Accompany them or make sure another trustworthy adult is with the group.
- Avoid trick-or-treating in the dark. Given that a lot of states are already on daylight savings time and the fact that Halloween falls on a school day this year, this shouldn’t be too hard.
- Always check the lollies/sweets handed out – if your child has an allergy, it is especially important to ensure that the child’s parent or other adult who is aware of the child’s allergies checks the label before the child consumes it. It is probably best to keep all the candies until they get home.
- If the kids are wearing elaborate costumes, ensure they are comfortable in it. As daytime maximums are reached later on in the afternoons quite often, children may not be able to regulate body heat properly especially if they are wearing synthetic fabrics, masks, caps and other accessories. Similarly, if it is a cold day, layering up underneath the costume will keep them warm.
- If your children are keen on decorating the house and setting up props, ensure they are properly supervised. A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Paediatrics reported that 18% of Halloween injuries were on the fingers or hand – likely related to pumpkin carving.
- Fire safety is another concern when using candles and lanterns. You could choose battery operated lights but take care around small children as small batteries could pose a serious danger to them.
- Glow sticks that are intended to make children more visible in the dark can be broken open and if the liquid manages to make contact with your child’s eyes or is ingested, the advice is to contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (Australian number).
Most of all remember to have fun. Happy Halloween!