I would give you my, Be Safe at Halloween - Mat Chat, do do with as you please.

Stranger Danger

When was the last time you sent your children to go and knock on the door of strangers, May I respectfully suggest, never? Most of the time, the normal, standard parental advice, is to be aware of strangers, not talk to them, and never to go onto the properties of strangers.

Except for on Halloween, where the ever growing trend is for parents to allow children to do exactly that, wave them off to go on Trick or Treat missions, gathering sweets from total strangers around the neighbourhood and that, on the one night a year when the strangers can disguise their own identity with a mask or costume and be seen as someone just joining in the fun.

Clearly Trick or Treating, is something children enjoy, and should you allow your children to participate in this type of activity, (you might get that I'm not to enthusiastic about it) I have listed some considerations that you might like to share with your children, to help set some rules or guidelines, to make their experience a positive one.

With an Adult.

Firstly, Trick or Treating should only be done if they have a trusted adult with them.

An adult is not an older sister or brother but a fully grown, responsible person with children of their own. As many a parent will testify, even an older child (and I know I have three my self), can easily be duped or just get caught up with the party atmosphere and end up doing something stupid; (encouraging younger children past their comfort level, or to do something potentially dangerous or becoming involved in anti social behaviour, such as throwing eggs at people or property). So, please, a real adult.

In a Group.

Your children should always be part of a group, please tell them they never trick or treat alone.
They might just start on the way home from school, let them know this is not a good idea.

Be Seen

Road safety is a major cause for concern with excitable children's attention being taken by decorated houses and lanterns,

Here in Solihull the clocks are about to go back, so it is light at 6pm one day and dark at 6pm the next, car drivers are as unprepared for the change as your children may be, and many of the costumes worn are black from head to toe. Even drivers who aren't distracted have less chance of seeing your child than normal. Please make sure your child has some kind of illumination, reflectors or even better, make sure that every one in the group carries a torch.


Plan the Route

It might be a good idea to ensure your children know the best route to take around the streets; up one side of the road then back down it is the best idea, not criss-crossing across the road back and forth from one house to another. If you can plan their route for them it means you will have a good idea of where your child is (assuming you are not with them).

Respect Others.

Make sure that your child understands that not all households wish to join in with trick or treating, and that the households that do usually have some sign of interest in the window, lanterns, pumpkins etc.

Older people in the community may find a gang children dressed as monsters and zombies arriving at the door to be truly frightening, or even just someone banging on their door after dark. If a house does not display an interest respect their wishes - no eggs or tricks, just leave them alone and move on to a house where trick or treat will be welcome.


Many of the treats your children will receive are sweets, encourage them not to eat them at the road side but to collect them and sort them when they get home, in the light. Never eat sweets that they don't recognise or do not come wrapped properly. Remember not all adults play nicely.

Outside only.

Make sure they know that they are NEVER allowed to go into a strangers house, no matter what the stranger says. Trick or Treating is an outdoor activity only.


I know you don't want to set you child alight, its just that pumpkins with smiley faces, containing tea lights or candles are just so attractive. Again it is likely, that, at no other time of the year are children exposed to so many open flames combined with costumes that waft about in the breeze. The danger there is very real.

Please tell them never to touch the pumpkins, pick them up carry them around, and don't forget to mention how much candle wax hurts if it drips onto your skin.

I am confident you and your child will have a great Halloween, but please give the some consideration to making sure the day is a safe one.

I wish you and your children, a fun and safe Halloween!

Sensei Mike

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