Whether you're taking your children out for trick-or-treating or attending a big costume party, there's a role for everyone to play this Halloween to ensure everybody has a safe and wonderful time.
- Keep young children away from carving tools. Let them use markers to draw their designs and carve them out afterwards if you choose.
- As an alternative to flame candles, consider using flameless LED candles or glow sticks instead.
- Keep any candle-lit pumpkins on a sturdy surface, away from curtains and other flammable materials.
- Consider stocking up on non-food treats for children with food allergies and mark your home with a teal pumpkin. make sure to avoid toys or favors that might pose a choking hazard for young children
- Check your porch lights to make sure they work, have a spare bulb handy just in case!
- Sweep your porch clear of leaves, dirt, and other debris.
- Clear a path to your front door, removing tools, gardening equipment, or other potentially dangerous items altogether.
- Use discretion when using animated Halloween accessory designed to give your trick-or-treaters a little fright; keep them away from stairways in case they jump! Place these figures on your lawn or by your front door if there is enough room.
- Ensure that all costumes, wigs, and accessories are fire resistant!
- Opt for brightly-colored costumes and neon or glow-in-the-dark treat bags. Reflective tape can also be used to help increase visibility.
- Halloween masks are an easy way to achieve a scary look, but they can also limit a child's vision. Consider either using makeup instead (after conducting a skin/allergy test), or use scissors to enlarge the eye openings so vision is not disturbed.
- Trim costumes that might drag on the ground to prevent any trips.
- Make sure accessories such as swords, axes, canes, etc. have no sharp edges to avoid injury.
- If it is a chilly night, make sure your child is properly dressed.
- Ensure your child is wearing comfortable and safe shoes with good traction.
- Be extra careful! Drive slow and cautiously in residential areas, report any suspicious activity immediately.
- If you're going out on the town, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Bring a designated driver, or arrange a taxi or Uber driver to bring you to and from your destination.
- Please restrain pets. The constant flow of visitors may cause some pets to become stressed, so be sure to keep them safe and away from the door to prevent the chance of them escaping or frightening young children. Keeping pets at a safe distance may also help those with severe pet allergies to avoid discomfort.
- Take candies out of their bags beforehand and check the wrappers for holes or tears, discard any treat with compromised packaging.
- Avoid homemade treats. Making your own Halloween treats is a wonderful idea for friends and family, but avoid doing so on Halloween night to hand out to the neighborhood children. Treats that are unfamiliar are likely to look suspicious and be discarded by parents. If you want to avoid giving out traditional candy, opt for child-friendly party favors instead.
- Make sure young children are accompanied by you or a trustworthy escort at all times. Hold their hand when approaching each home.
- Provide flashlights with fresh batteries for all children.
- Plan an acceptable route together ahead of time and establish a curfew.
- Ensure older children travel in groups.
- Encourage them to stay on well-lit streets, remain on the sidewalk, and always look both ways before crossing a street (and only cross at established intersections).
- Cell phones should be brought along in case of an emergency, but make sure they are well-hidden to avoid a robbery!
- Review 911 protocol before trick-or-treating, have your children take note of what street they're on at all times, along with any intersections they cross.
- Go through treats with your children present; it's a great way to teach the importance of inspecting food and other goodies for safety as a family.
- Discard candy with packaging that is ripped or torn, or any homemade treats (unless they were made by somebody you know and trust). Assess any toys or trinkets for small parts, and ensure they are appropriate for the age of your child.
- Ration candy treats out throughout the week, encourage eating a healthy snack before indulging in any sweets.
Additional Halloween Safety Resources
Halloween Safety Tips from HealthyChildren.org
Spooky Truths Regarding Halloween Safety On and Off the Road from the National Safety Council