Over the last few decades ‘Halloween’ has become a firm part of British culture: last year it overtook Valentine’s Day to become the third most-profitable event for retailers behind Christmas and Easter, with Brits spending around £300 million on costumes, decorations and Halloween-related items[i]. Everywhere you go, from the supermarket to the local corner shop, you’ll see piles of pumpkins ready to be carved, racks of scary costumes for all ages, and spiders/ghosts/ghoulish figures designed to ‘decorate’ your home and help you get into the ‘festivities’.
Your children will probably want to go out trick-or-treating with their friends, so it’s important to keep in mind that this comes along with a few more risks than a normal evening at home in front of the TV.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children in America are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year[ii]. Whilst trick-or-treating in this country has not yet reached the epic proportions you see in the US, its popularity is increasing every year, so we should take this time to learn from our American cousins.
Here are some top tips from Safe Kids Worldwide, to ensure your children stay safe and visible at this time of year:
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colours. Masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, so try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
- Give your children glow sticks or torches to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and to trick-or-treat in groups.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so, as parents, we should be especially alert for children during those hours.
- When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
For more information about keeping your kids safe this Halloween, take a look at this helpful infographic >