The Dos and Don’ts of Trick-or-Treating in a New Neighborhood

By Christine DiMaria

Trick-or-TreatHalloween is such a fun day of the year. Whether your children’s costumes are creative, cute or just plain scary, it’s a joy to watch them parading up and down the streets holding out a pillowcase in anticipation of goodies. However, when you move to a new neighborhood, you have to be careful since you don’t really know the area very well.


Only Visit Houses with Lights On

If the lights are out, it’s safe to assume that a person is either not home or doesn’t want to be bothered. In your old town, you may have known a few people who light to keep it dark to give your kids a scare, but now that you’re a newbie in town, only venture to homes with porch lights on. It’s safer for your children, and you won’t catch anyone off guard.


Let Your Children Go Out Unsupervised

Even if your children are 10 or 11 years old, don’t let them walk the streets without adult supervision. Halloween is a busy time for criminals, and you never know who is lurking in a neighborhood you’re not familiar with. Make sure if you have older children that they go in groups.


Require Your Kids to Say Thank You

This is especially true when you’re meeting new neighbors because you want them to get a good impression of your little ghouls. Make sure your kids say thank you after a person gives them a treat. You want your children to be polite at all times, especially when making a first impression.


Let Them Tear Into the Bag Right Away

Although it’s sweet of people to bake Halloween treats for the kids, if you don’t know the neighbor well, don’t let your children eat them. It’s very tempting for a child to dump the contents of his or her treat bag on the floor and start devouring piece after piece of sugary goodness, but make him or her wait until you inspect it. Check for open wrappers or pieces that look like someone tampered with them.


Avoid Going Down Side Roads and Alleys

You never know who is lurking in a dark alley waiting to snatch up a child. Avoid going down unlit areas or through alleys in your new neighborhood. If you aren’t going with your children, make sure they know not to go down any side roads, alleys, or even through fields.


Go Out Without a Map

If the area you plan to cover is large, make sure you have a map of your neighborhood. This way, you know where your kids are going and the quickest ways to get around town. You’ll also know how to get your kids to safety if needed.


Know and Follow Designated Trick-or-Treat Times

Most areas have designated times when residents prefer to receive trick-or-treaters. Know these times and don’t let your children go before or after them. This will ensure that there are plenty of people around when your kids are out. Plus, you won’t annoy your neighbors.


Let Your Older Children Go Out Without Checking In

Even if they just call you, make sure your older children check in with you every so often, so you know they’re safe.

Trick-or-treating is an entertaining activity for kids, but it can be dangerous. It’s better to be safe than sorry. By following these guidelines, your tots will have an enjoyable time and stay safe!

Photo by KOMUnews