It's halloween. Not the biggest tradition in Australia, but the idea of knocking on doors to get free chocolate and lollies is gaining traction.
If you don't want trick or treaters
If you are dead against Halloween, print out a nice little sign advising you don't want any door knockers to save the kids and yourself some hassle. Click here to download one we prepared earlier. I remember as a kid the feeling of despondency and confusion when someone would answer the door with "go away, we don't celebrate halloween here".
If you do want trick or treaters
If you've armed your cupboards with candy goodness and want to make some young tackers the happiest people in the world for one night, pop a balloon or some streamers on your letterbox to let the kids know your home is ok to door knock. (Or stick a pumpkin out the front if you're really keen.) We also hear Spotlight sell little "Trick or Treaters Welcome" signs for a couple of bucks.
If you live in Strathalbyn be sure to stock up on lots of Lindt chocolate. We hear the kids there like that the best ;)
Safety message from Police
Safety Advice - Do you have little monsters in your household? Halloween is a popular time of year for the kids who look forward to dressing up in costumes to go door to door ‘trick or treating’. Widely celebrated in the USA, it is now popular amongst Aussie kids.
This year we have a few safety tips for you before children take to the streets. Parents are encouraged to have a chat with the little ones to give them strategies about staying safe.
We also have something for the grown ups. Print off the below image, fold it in half and display it somewhere prominent with your preferred message “Yes Please” or “No Thanks” it’s up to you!
Children ‘trick or treating’ should be with a trusted and responsible person.
Take extra care when crossing roads as children may find it hard to see so well dressed as a ghost or haunted pumpkin etc.
Children should stay on the footpath at all times. If there is no footpath, walk single file on the right hand side facing traffic, or consider using a different route.
Stay safe near roads, watch out for cars, use proper crossings where available.
After knocking on the door and saying ‘trick or treat’ children or young people should stay outside the front door. Do not enter the person’s house, even if invited inside while the person looks for treats.
Accept only sealed wrapped chocolate or lollies.
Leave immediately if asked to do so.
Sometimes, a person whose door is knocked either doesn’t want to participate, or may choose a trick instead of giving a treat. Children and young people should be told any trick must not cause harm, fear, damage or be abusive in any way.
Be respectful of other members of the community, not everyone celebrates Halloween.
Vulnerable members of the community may be genuinely concerned or scared of doorknockers especially after dark. If you are aware of someone like that, make sure your children know not to bother them.
Consider an alternative to ‘trick or treating’ by holding a Halloween party at home; that way children are supervised and still celebrating Halloween.
If a house full of little monsters is not appealing, neighbouring families could set up a safe house arrangement, where children are given a list of addresses of participating families to doorknock in the area, and these are the only houses they visit.