Parenting Expert Holly Zoccolan, Founder of The Carol App provides her top tips for trick or treating - what to consider and how to know if your kids are ready?
There are definitely things to consider before allowing your child to trick or treat without an adult. These include;
One of the first considerations is age. Many experts recommend that children under the age of 12 should not go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. Kids older than 12 may be ready for this new level of independence, depending on their maturity and familiarity with the neighbourhood. You know your child best and how comfortable you feel, so it really is up to you.
Familiarity with the Area
Knowing the layout of the area is crucial. Make sure your child is well-acquainted with the neighbourhood.. A trial run before Halloween can be a good idea to gauge their comfort level.
Safety in numbers always. Encourage your child to go with a group of friends. A group is not only more visible to drivers but can also deter any would-be troublemakers.
Ensure your child has a mobile phone with them for emergencies and regular check-ins. Make sure they know how to reach you and when they should do so.
Set a curfew for their return. It's a good idea for them to go out while it's still light outside and to return at a pre-arranged time. You could also arrange to meet them half way to grab some dinner somewhere nearby or make some similar plans with friends.
Discuss and agree upon a route beforehand. Knowing where your child will be will add an extra layer of safety to the evening. Ask them to stick to the plan and avoid shortcuts through less familiar or poorly lit areas.
Equip your child with a flashlight and reflective gear to make them more visible to drivers. Discuss the importance of not entering anyone's home and only accepting treats at the door.
If possible, arrange for a trusted adult or older sibling to be in the area as a point of contact. They don't need to walk with the group but being nearby can offer an extra layer of security.
Trust and Responsibility
This is a great opportunity to talk about trust and responsibility with your child. Make sure they understand the expectations and rules of going out without an adult.
Lastly, you know your child best. Consider their maturity, ability to follow rules, and awareness of their surroundings before making the decision.
Taking all these factors into account can help you and your child decide if they're ready for trick or treating without an adult.