Do you share your child’s excitement and enthusiasm for Halloween and Bonfire Night or are you finding that both occasions challenge your deepest fears about their safety?
I have spoken to many Parents like you this week and I am sure you’ll not be surprised to know that many are feeling anxious about the safety aspect of the upcoming Halloween celebrations after the interview with Claudia Winkleman about her daughters costume catching fire last year. It really was a brave interview for her to give but a difficult one for many Parents to watch. Did you see it? I found myself in tears feeling her pain and horror that anything so awful could happen to her daughter while she was with her. However Claudia did make it clear in the interview that she didn’t want to spoil the fun of Halloween but did want to make Parents aware of the safety aspects of bought costumes. Awareness really is the key here to having a fun and safe evening. So what do you need to be aware of regarding Halloween?
Well I would say that there are 3 good questions to ask yourself…
- Is my child’s costume safe?
- Who is watching my child?
- Where are the lanterns, and therefore the candles, at each house?
Like you I was shocked at how easily a shop bought costume for a child went up in flames but knowing this can happen gives you some valuable knowledge to make an informed decision. If you are creative do you make the costume this year? Or do you still buy a costume but stringently check the safety instructions? Then on the night who is watching each child? If you have more than one child can your partner join you and make it a family outing? Or can a friend or relative join in with the fun? Finally at each house simply knowing where the lantern is and teaching the children to not get too close will help to keep them safe. I know you don’t want to scare your child but it’s amazing how well they learn about safety if they’re given a chance. I had a friend who allowed her children to chop vegetables with a sharp knife from an early age. It was quite scary to watch but her children didn’t hurt themselves and quickly became very skilled!! It did make me think that may be they are more capable than we give them credit for even from an early age.
I find Bonfire Night seems to cause slightly less anxiety as Parents now prefer to take children to an organised display. I haven’t yet talked to any Parents who are choosing the option of a small fire, sparklers and a few fireworks in the back garden which was my experience as a child! To be honest I often hid in the house and watched the fireworks from behind the safety of a window when I was little. Now I love the child like magic of an organised firework display especially if it is to music. Nothing can beat the explosion of colour from the fireworks in time to some great, and usually very loud, music. And as one Parent pointed out to me not only is this option the best to watch it is often the cheapest option too.
Occasions such as Halloween and Bon Fire Night are yearly markers in a childs’ life. They are lovely opportunities for a family to spend quality time together and create some lasting memories. If you know of an organised Firework display that you recommend please do post your recommendations below.
I wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable time on both evenings.