Family Lives advice for Halloween and bonfire night

With tips on keeping safe

Jeremy Todd, Chief Executive of Family Lives says:  

The arrival of Halloween and Bonfire Night often means young children and teenagers are out and about trick or treating or letting off fireworks with friends and family.

Many parents may set boundaries for Halloween and Bonfire night which they worry will be ignored and this can lead parents to feeling anxious about what their children are doing and whether they are safe.  Carers may be concerned that children in their care could inadvertently get into trouble with the law which may have a long term impact on their future. 

We come into contact with families via our free Helpline and website who are looking for support on how to manage their child’s behaviour.  We urge parents contact Family Lives if they have concerns over parenting their children over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

 

Family Lives Top Tips For Halloween & Bonfire Night

If your child is trick and treating, determine what tricks they will use and whether it’s really necessary – explain that it could scare anxious neighbours and equally anger others that may lead to a confrontational situation for all concerned. 

If you are unable to keep track of older more independent teenage children, where younger children and teenagers are concerned, ensure that an adult is present at all times. Go in a group with friends and neighbours and arrange a start and finish time with a clearly defined route. 

Give your child clear rules and boundaries such as the areas they are allowed to go to and which doors they can knock on.  Only knock on the doors only where Halloween decorations are clearly visible by the front door. Don’t knock on windows.  You could even pre-arrange with your neighbours which houses you will knock on.

Before setting off trick or treating, remind children and adults of road and pavement safety. Young children may feel excited in their costumes but other commuters may be heading home, stressed and oblivious to Halloween. Keep an eye out for cyclists, pedestrians or cars if children have spooky costumes that may obscure their view. You might want to use night reflectors bands so they are visible.

You have to be over 18 to purchase fireworks and the law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places. You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am. 

Before setting off trick or treating, remind children and adults of road and pavement safety. Young children may feel excited in their costumes but other commuters may be heading home, stressed and oblivious to Halloween. Keep an eye  out for cyclists, pedestrians or cars if children have spooky costumes that may obscure their view.

Whenever possible go with your children even if you hang back and let them go to doors on their own, take a friend to chat to.

Prepare your children of the possibility that some neighbours may not wish to take part so that it doesn’t come as a complete surprise and upset younger children. Make sure your children understand what to do if people say no and that they can be polite.

Even if you know you can trust your own child to be sensible it can be more about others behaviour and you may not be able to trust others. Or the impact of peer pressure.