It’s an exciting time of year for children – the weeks spent planning their scariest Halloween costumes will finally pay off. Soon, many of us will either be heading out into our community with the family to trick-or-treat, or will be waiting at home with sweets, ready for the mini monsters to knock at the door.
However, Halloween can be a frightening time for those who are vulnerable. This month, we have launched our #BewareWhoYouScare campaign, in which we remind everyone to think about who is behind the door they are trick-or-treating and how Halloween can impact them. We have released our special poster for those who don’t wish for trick-or-treaters to visit to display in their window.
Whether you’re planning on going out with the family, handing out sweets to visitors or not taking part at all, here are some of our tips to keep safe this Halloween.
“I’ll be out trick-or-treating with the family”
- Only go trick-or-treating in neighbourhoods you know.
- Make sure costumes are easy to walk in and are warm.
- Take a torch with you; the evenings have become darker sooner and there may be gardens or pathways that are hard to see.
- Ask any elderly or vulnerable neighbours if they will be taking part, and if so, let them know you will be visiting.
- The general rule is: if there’s no Halloween decorations or lights on, don’t approach the house. They may not be welcoming visitors.
- Set an agreed time for when it’s time to head home. A lot of people will stop answering the door after 9pm.
- Don’t forget coats, gloves and scarves – it’s not just getting darker earlier, but temperatures are dropping.
- Sweets may become very tempting on your route to visit houses, so make sure you’ve all had a warm meal before leaving.
- If you have older children and teenagers going out with friends, remind them to be courteous of vulnerable people and to keep safe.
- Check the sweets and chocolate before allowing children to eat them.
“I’ll be at home, handing out sweets”
- Buy a mixed bag of sweets or chocolate from the supermarket, or ask a family member, friend or carer to purchase them for you if you can’t reach the shops.
- Make sure your sweets are easy to grab by the door so you’re not having to look for them.
- Have a decoration outside to show you are taking part. This could be a small pumpkin with an LED battery tealight.
- Let your neighbours know you’ll be taking part so they can come and visit you.
- Ask someone to keep you company during the evening to help answer the door.
- Make sure the pathway to your front door is clear and well lit.
- Keep greetings with trick-or-treaters short – they’ll want to move onto the next house for more sweets.
- Don’t allow anyone you don’t know to enter your house.
- Check through the window or door peephole to see who is knocking.
- Remember- you don’t have to answer the door if you don’t want to.
“I won’t be taking part in Halloween”
- Print off our #BewareWhoYouScare poster and display it in a clear spot on the door or window.
- Make plans to visit a friend or take a trip out so you won’t be disturbed by the knocks on the door.
- Don’t display Halloween decorations – most families will look for a pumpkin to indicate they can approach a house.
- Invite a family member, friend or carer over to keep you company and distract you from the noise outside.
- Let your neighbours know you won’t be taking part so they can miss your house on their route.
- If someone is planning on visiting you during the evening, schedule a time to expect them.
Heritage Healthcare Wakefield provides home care and support services to help more people continue living at home for longer. Our services are bespoke and tailored to the needs and wishes of our clients. With a team of highly trained carers, we are on hand to support clients with companionship this Halloween.