Tips for a safe Halloween for parents and kids.
If you've ever experienced a Halloween in the UK or America you'll know how dedicated some people are to making it a grand occasion.
Home owners overseas put a lot into making their house stand out amongst all the other elaborately decorated houses in the neighbourhood. Halloween in other countries is very much alive and popular towards the end of October and there's much to be said about the factors contributing to it being a fun event for most.
Halloween in South Africa is slightly different. We're far more conservative and reluctant to going all out when it comes to decorating our houses and getting into the swing of things at Halloween time. In fact, some South Africans are dead against Halloween altogether.
Read more: The scrooge of Halloween
Granted, letting our kids run around the neighbourhood and knocking on people's doors to ask for sweets isn't as common here because of our crime rate and the protectiveness that comes with the safety of our children.
But for some, Halloween is a small part of childhood celebrations and parents enjoy getting involved in the excitement that comes with planning a Halloween party or a Trick or Treat expedition with their kids and other parents.
If you're looking forward to a fun Halloween with your kids, here are some important things to consider to ensure that your Trick or Treat event is safe and fun:
Avoid uncomfortable clothing
When it comes to costume ideas, avoid heavy or uncomfortable clothing that will restrict your child's movement and eyesight. You want to stay with the rest of the group and there's nothing worse than being left behind while you try and guide your child in the right direction. It's important that your child's vision isn't blocked, especially if you're going to be doing this in the dark.
Warn your neighbours beforehand
It's a good idea to let your neighbours know that they might be visited by small characters later on. There are plenty of South Africans who choose not to be involved or participate in the festivities and you don't want to upset someone who would prefer to be left in peace. .
Plan/map out your route
Make sure you have a good idea of which area you'll be based in, the roads that link to and from it and where to start and end your Trick or Treating event.
Let there be light
Carry enough lighting and spare batteries to make sure you don't get caught in total darkness with screaming children you might not recognise in costume.
Stay in groups
If someone falls away from the group, stop and wait for everyone to come together again before heading off to the next location.
No eating on the job!
Kids + running + sweet in mouth = choking. Explain to your kids beforehand that the deal is they can only have the sweets they collect once they're at home.
Do you get into the spirit of things with your kids at Halloween?