Safely Trick-or-Treating in a New Neighborhood

safely trick-or-treatingHalloween is right around the corner. Whether Halloween costumes are cute and cuddly or frightening fun, it’s a real joy to watch children trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

But, if you have recently moved into a new neighborhood, it’s important to prepare in advance, so your evening can be full of treats, not tricks. Check out some of these dos and don’ts for safely trick-or-treating in a new neighborhood.

Do: Plan Your Route in Advance

Knowing your way to and from your new home in the daylight is one thing, but walking around the various neighborhood streets after dark is another. Make sure you plan the route you’re going to take. That way you know where you’re going at all times, and won’t get turned around or lost on an unfamiliar, dark street.

Do: Visit Only Those Houses with Lights On

Whether you’ve lived in the neighborhood for years, or you’re only days into residing in your new one, this is one of the oldest rules in the book. Visit ONLY homes that have their front porch lights on, or lit up Halloween decorations indicating they are willing participants in the spooky evening fun.

Do: Follow Designated Times

At this time of year, it tends to get dark pretty early. Make sure you plan your time(s) for trick-or-treating accordingly. The most common rule for trick-or-treating, in any neighborhood, is no knocking on doors before 5 p.m. or after 9 p.m. Younger children are out as early as 6 p.m., and teenagers tend to go out a bit later. Just make sure you plan what’s best for you and your family.

Don’t: Go Without a Map of the Neighborhood

Once you’ve planned your route for the evening, draw a map. That way, if you do get lost, the map can help you find your way home safely. Or, if you have teenagers heading out with friends, provide them with a map of the neighborhood and route so they know where they are at all times and will know how to get home quickly in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have a homeowners association that can provide you with a map of the neighborhood, you can always use Google maps or draw one that works for you.

Don’t: Let Your Children Go Unsupervised in a New Neighborhood

If the neighborhood is new and unfamiliar, Halloween is not a good night to let your children (no matter how old) go door to door by themselves. Even if you have teenagers, make sure they trick-or-treat in a group. Unfortunately, Halloween can bring out some unwanted tricksters and even criminals. You never know what mischief or danger can be lurking in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

Don’t: Forget to Check Candy 

When you get home, check ALL the candy received before consuming any. If the wrappers are open or damaged at all, or if there is anything suspicious looking in your child’s bag of treats, throw it away.

(flickr: gatz125/via cc)

*Do you have any helpful tips for trick-or-treating in a new neighborhood? If so, please share your tricks for the treats before this Halloween.