With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to start making plans for a day of spooky fun with your little ones. It falls on a Saturday this year, so it’s the perfect excuse to be creative and get into the party spirit.
In the midst of the frights, giggles and entertainment, it’s easy to get carried away. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you minimise risks, keep children safe, and ensure Halloween stays scary for all the right reasons.
Set Some Ground Rules
Halloween can be a confusing time for young children, as they’re allowed to break so many of the safety rules you’ve worked so hard to enforce throughout the year:
“Don’t talk to strangers.”
“Don’t play with sharp objects.”
“No sweeties before dinner.”
Although some of your usual rules may be temporarily lifted, it’s important to make sure they know which ones are still firmly in place.
If you’re going trick-or-treating, lay down a few ground rules before you leave the house – especially if you’re going to be supervising a group of children. Here are a few important ones to get you started:
- Don’t go into any strangers’ houses.
- Stay with the group at all times.
- Don’t stroke any pets without permission from the owner.
Get the children to repeat the ground rules back to you. It’s an exciting time for them, so it might be hard for you to hold their attention if they’re impatient to get outside. Don’t leave until you’re sure they’ve understood.
Have Fun at Home
If the thought of sending your children to strangers’ doors fills you with dread, there are plenty of alternatives.
Why not plan a Halloween bash at your house? Your children can help you plan the event – they’ll love getting crafty with pumpkins, ghostly decorations and spooky buffet food!
Check out this article for some fabulous Halloween party ideas.
Be Vigilant – Put Supervision First
Accidents can happen in a matter of seconds, so don’t let yourself become distracted.
If you’re supervising a large group of children, get some help from other parents. Not only will this take the pressure off, but you’ll have someone to keep you company too!
As well as taking care of your own children, and those partying with you, it’s important to look out for your neighbours – especially if you live close to any vulnerable people. Keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour and, if you have CCTV installed at your property, make sure it’s switched on.
It’s Not Just Physical
Whilst keeping children safe from any physical danger should be a top priority, you should also do your best to make sure they’re psychologically safe too.
Some children will enjoy the frightening aspect of Halloween, whilst others may be more sensitive. This is especially true for young children, who tend to develop at different rates.
Plan age appropriate activities, and watch out for any youngsters that seem particularly terrified. Plan a couple of back-up activities, so you can quickly divert their attention elsewhere if necessary.