One night of the year it’s perfectly acceptable to let your children roam the neighborhood begging for candy. Trick-or-treating is a fun tradition for families all over the country, but unfortunately it’s an activity that can be fraught with accidents. Every year there are reports of pedestrians being struck by cars and kids that have accidents along the trick-or-treating trail, many of which are avoidable.
Keep your kids protected this Halloween by planning a safe trick-or-treating route in advance using the criteria below.
Wide Walkable Paths
The number one priority for a trick-or-treat route is that it have wide walkable paths that are clear of the road. Sidewalks on both sides of the street are preferable, but as along as you’re at least a few feet from the edge of the road that’s what really counts.
As you map out your route make note of where there are intersecting streets, crosswalks, traffic lights and stop signs. The fewer breaks you have in your walkable path the better.
The better lit the route is the less likely you are to have an accident. When kids are decked out in costumes, it may already be difficult to walk. Add darkness to the mix, and someone is bound to trip and fall.
Try to find a route with streetlights along the path. Each person in the group should also have a flashlight so that they can see better and make the group more visible to oncoming traffic.
Make It a Manageable Distance
Kids may want to rush from one house to the next, but trick-or-treating is usually a leisurely walk. To keep the route manageable, factor in everyone’s mobility. Plan the route based on the least mobile person in your group. For example, if grandma wants to come along, consider how far she can go before needing to take a break. Likewise, young children may poop out quicker than you think.
To shorten the length of the walk, plan a route that has a high density of homes. You can also plan for breaks along the way so the group can rest.
Decide Which Houses You Want to Hit
If there are specific houses that you know you want to visit in the neighborhood, let those help guide your route. Map out the location of each home, and then create a route that connects the dots.
Check Out a Crime Map
You can also identify places you definitely want to avoid along the route by checking local crime maps. There are service providers that can help you identify the homes of offenders in the area and others that give you a real-time account of crimes. When in doubt, contact your local police station for guidance.
Use the Nextdoor App
We mentioned the Nextdoor app in a previous post about ways to communicate with your neighbors. It turns out Nextdoor is also a useful tool for planning a neighborhood trick-or-treating route. You can use the “treat map” feature to create a route based on which neighbors plan to hand out candy.
Pack Up a Wagon
Little kids are going to tucker out quickly and it may be a long night if they want to walk from house to house. Save your back the strain by bringing a wagon along. You can load up a few kids and have a place to store the candy bags.
Trick-or-treating is a great way for families to become familiar with a new neighborhood and meet their neighbors. While you plan out the trick-or-treating route, Square Cow Movers can help you get ready to move into your new neighborhood. Give us a call to learn more about our moving services or use the online form to get an instant moving quote.