Halloween Etiquette & Safety Tips
For many kids and grown up alike, Halloween may be the most favored holiday outside of Christmas.
There are many mixed emotions on Halloween, or all Hallows Eve there are those who feel that it is connected with a pagan holiday which is said to have derived from what is known as ‘Samhain’ which dates back more than 2000 years to an ancient Celtic harvest festival, signifying the end of summer. It was said to be a community event, where the villagers would gather the harvest for the winter and celebrate.
You have the super sad, sanctified, filled with the judgement ghost folks that say it’s the day that heathens set aside to pay homage to the devil. Then there are those who see it as, an opportunity to dress up, dress up as their alter ego and score free candy from complete strangers. And you have those who take advantage of the opportunity to host harvest festivals and places of worship or community trunk or treats that allows the kids, who otherwise would be excluded to participate in the holiday.
No matter what school of thought you follow on Halloween, one thing is certain-we have to make sure that we are polite, respectful and safe this Halloween.
Here are 5 key tips for having a safe and fun-filled Halloween or Harvest Festival
1. Light Up the Night
If trick or treating is going to be done at night, make sure that the children carry a glow stick or a flashlight to make sure that they can see and be seen. According to the National Safety Council children are more than twice as likely to get hit by a car than any other day of the year. We ca avoid this craziness by making sure that we are safe pedestrians, using crosswalks, and cross lights and by ensuring that we are properly lit for the night.
In addition to making sure we are sufficiently illuminated, Scholastic teachers recommend choosing costumes that are flame retardant and flame resistant. I don’t want to be a Scary Mary but better safe than sorry is what I always say.
2. Beware of Clowns
And other suspicious characters. America has been creepy clown obsessed way before the re-release of Stephen Kings IT earlier this year. I am sure there will not be a shortage of clowns this Halloween, in addition to other equally scary replicas of monsters, murderers and makers of mischief and mayhem. Have conversations with your kids about how to identify and report stranger danger.
Our family has a safe word that we created when they were little, we taught them that if anyone approached them with the line “Your mommy or daddy said come with me” they would have to provide the safe word. Have a meeting with the family and set up a plan for the evening, make sure they know mom and dads’ real name and ensure they know who to contact in an emergency.
3. Trick or Treat in a Safe Place
The community that we live in is quite small and we pretty much know all of our neighbors, so I would be reasonably comfortable with them canvassing the neighborhood for Halloween treats. There are much larger neighborhoods nearby where I would not be as comfortable. In looking for alternatives for the kids, we have done trick or treating at the mall, at our downtown shops, at our community center and at church. These are all great alternatives to knocking door to door. A quick internet search of your local community events pages will bring you to various local venues where the kids can enjoy a fun and safe Halloween.
4. Be Polite
Free Candy!!! Free Candy and more free candy-the urge to just put your hand in a bowl full of free candy and pull out big wads of it is certainly overwhelming, but I would not be a proponent of proper etiquette if I did not remind you to be considerate a select just one piece of candy unless you are offered more. We can hope that the candy fairy will sprinkle dust on the candy givers and inspire them to drop handfuls of candy into our bag to which we will remember our Pleases and Thank You’s.