Spooky season is upon us once again, and although it is a time for tricks, treats and lots of fun scary activities… It’s really important to remain both safe and inclusive.
Here we will list some tips and tricks on how to make sure this Halloween is fun and safe if you are trick-or-treating:
Make sure to stay in groups. Never go trick or treating alone, and make sure if you are not with an adult to have a group of at least four/five.
Do not approach a house without an adult or large group present.
Stick to local and well-lit areas. This is not only safer due to higher visibility, but also if you are familiar with your surroundings this will prevent you from getting lost.
Lit pumpkins by a door is usually a universal sign that a house is open for trick or treaters to come along. If there are no decorations or pumpkins present, refrain from knocking on the door.
Even if a home has decorations, make sure to only knock once. If they do not answer, please move on. The person inside may not be able to make their way to the door for both physical and psychological reasons. Unfortunately, Halloween night can be a source of anxiety for some people, so make sure not to pressure anybody.
If you can, try and incorporate bright or reflective elements into your Halloween costume. This is so drivers can see you coming from a distance. Things like reflective tape or light up bracelets are a great way to do this.
Do not consume any unwrapped or home-made treats, or alternatively any treats that look as though they have been opened or tampered with. Simply dispose of them immediately, and if you suspect anything suspicious then report to your local authorities for investigation.
Make sure to stick to designated paths when you are walking on peoples properties! There may be hidden obstructions or dangers that you are unaware of or cannot see.
Carry a card with contact information on. This can be your name and emergency contact number. Keep this with you whether you have a mobile or not, to ensure that someone is always reachable whilst you are out.
If you feel it is safe to do so, make sure to report any anti-social behaviour to the local authorities. Unfortunately, vandalism and harassment is a commonly reported crime on Halloween night.
Here are some more tips if you are not trick or treating, but instead staying at home and on door answering duty!
Bear in mind that some individuals have dietary requirements, so having dairy, gluten, sugar and nut free options may really make a difference! Even things like sensory toys could be a great alternative for those who may be unable to consume sweets and chocolate.
Try to have decorations that aren’t too scary, as this can often trigger individuals into panic attacks, over-stimulation or PTSD.
Prevent from having flashing lights as part of your spooky decorations. This can trigger conditions like epilepsy.
If you can, in order to keep yourself safe try and see exactly who is at your door before answering it. Even if it means looking through the window or checking a doorbell cam beforehand.
Some children may be non-verbal, so try not to pressure them into saying ‘Trick or Treat’ when they answer the door!
Use electric or battery operated tea lights instead of a flame in jack-o-lanterns in order to prevent any fire hazards.
Try and make sure that there is a clear pathway leading up to the door, and that there are no obstructions or items in the way that could trip people up. Using things like friction tape also comes in handy if your property has stairs. Making sure any railings, fencing and bannisters are secure is also really important!
Keep your pets secure and inside. It can be overwhelming for both children and animals on Halloween, so keeping them apart and not assuming how either party will act is the safest thing to do.
If you do not wish to participate in festivities, try and keep lights to a minimum, or alternatively leave a sign on the door explaining that you will not be answering.
Most importantly- if you feel threatened or vulnerable at any point make sure to contact your local authorities. If you feel uncomfortable answering the door, make sure you keep your property securely locked, do not interact and remain calm and vigilant.
With all of these tips and tricks aside, it is of course really important to remember that Halloween is fun! Get creative with costumes, decorations and a variety of treats to give out.
If you would like something for your loved one to get involved with this Halloween, also remember that we are hosting a two day Halloween Camp on Monday 30th October and Wednesday 1st November over at Hatchford Brook. Please ensure you have booked a place, as this event will accept strictly no walk ups. Please also bear in mind that this is NOT a HAF funded event, so each individual attending will have to pay a small fee.
From everyone at Inclusive Sports… Happy Halloween!