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Halloween trick or treat etiquette - 6 tips to keep everyone safe and happy

Trick or treat is one of the most popular Halloween activities - a chance for children to dress up, go out with their friends and eat loads of sweets.

But with busy streets, lit pumpkins and after-dark wandering, it's important to make sure everyone stays safe and happy throughout the evening. So here are some tips on Halloween etiquette to apply in Kent tonight.

Keep safe when out trick or treating this Halloween
Keep safe when out trick or treating this Halloween

1. Only head to a house with a lit pumpkin or decorations outside

A lit pumpkin outside your front door is the general rule on Halloween night for welcoming trick or treaters.

Other spooky decorations can work too - anything that signifies you're getting into the spirit and want to be involved.

If you're not prepared with sweets, bring all your decorations in to avoid door knocks.

2. Clear a path so your garden is easy to navigate

With most trick or treating taking place after dark, it's sensible to keep your front garden clear of anything which children could trip up on - especially if they're wearing a big costume.

Keep safe when out trick or treating this Halloween
Keep safe when out trick or treating this Halloween

Move that hose pipe or watering can into the garage to keep injuries to a minimum.

It's also helpful to switch on any outdoor lighting, especially if you have stairs leading up to the door.

3. Be extra cautious when driving around

Later this evening, it'll be dark and they'll be little kids everywhere walking from house to house so be extra careful when driving around.

Some children might not be wearing anything reflective and could forget to watch out for cars.

If your child is going out with their friends, give them a torch, glow stick or something reflective to make them as visible as possible.

How to keep safe at Halloween. Video: Kent Fire and Rescue Service

4. Don't hand out homemade treats

One of the top trick or treat rules is not to eat anything unwrapped.

Although homemade cakes or biscuits are probably much yummier than shop-bought sweets, they are likely to be thrown away by parents as there's no way of knowing the ingredients. So it's best to buy in for this occasion.

5. Be wary of flammable costumes

You may have found your child the perfect costume - their favourite book character or TV star - but many of these are made of synthetic material which may be highly flammable.

Keep safe when out trick or treating this Halloween
Keep safe when out trick or treating this Halloween

To avoid any accidents, check the label before making your purchase or cut away any ripped, long or ragged pieces of material which could catch fire. Don't use bin bags as costumes as they're very flammable too.

You could also use flickering electric tea lights instead of real ones in your pumpkins which have the same atmospheric effect without putting anyone in danger.

6. Don't leave sweets outside unsupervised

Even though you're just trying to be generous, it's probably best not to leave a bucket full of candy outside for children to help themselves to.

They'll likely be taken by one over-excited kid at the beginning of the night and then there won't be any left for anyone else. So, to keep things fair, it's best to just give treats out to those who knock.

If you follow these simple tips it can make Halloween a lot more fun and safe for everyone - and the kids can have a night to remember filled with sweets and spooky treats.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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