Halloween Safety Tips – Have Fun and Stay Safe!

Halloween Safety

Halloween means fun, whether you're still young enough to enjoy trick-or-treating, or old enough to hand out candy at the door. Here are some guidelines to ensure that the only scary things you encounter this year are the ghosts and goblins holding out sacks and asking for goodies!

Halloween Costumes

When choosing a Halloween costume, make sure that the outfit is comfortable and allows your child to move freely. Choose face paint or makeup over a mask, but if a mask must be worn, ensure that it doesn't limit your child's vision in any way. Remember, they will be looking both ways every time they cross the street, and an excited child with a bag full of candy may not take as much care as you'd like them to.

If the costume includes a cape or long skirt or pants, make sure that the length doesn't interfere with walking, running, skipping, or jumping. Tie capes loosely or use Velcro tabs to keep them fastened to avoid choking. Always make sure that any long or flowing parts of the costume are treated with fire retardant spray.

Reflective material on a costume will keep your child visible, even if the costume itself is dark. You can pick up reflective tape at hardware stores to adorn the costume with. If the outfit uses props like swords, guns, or knives, ensure that they are made of soft plastic and won't injure anyone in a play-fight or a fall.

Jack O' Lanterns

Keep carved and lit pumpkins safely out of reach of young children. Don't place a jack o' lantern that contains a lit candle too close to your doorway to avoid tipping or worse, someone's costume catching fire.

Consider lighting your pumpkin with glow sticks or a battery-powered light to completely avoid fire hazards. Keep pets away from lit candles.


Always accompany young children when they are trick-or-treating. Older kids should be in groups, and have their name and phone number along with either a cell phone or quarters for a pay phone handy. Stay on the sidewalks and don't cut across dark yards to get to the next house.

Carry a flashlight and/or glow sticks so that you and your child can see well, and motorists can see you when crossing the street. If you come across a house without lights on, skip it and move on to the next one. Map out a trick-or-treat route, and make sure your child sticks to it. Stay in familiar neighborhoods, and don't stray too far from home. Set a time for your kids to return home, and make sure they have a watch on.

Never go inside someone's home unless you know them well, and don't approach pets or stray animals unless you are familiar with them. Follow general safety rules, such as not talking to strangers and crossing the street only at the corner.

If you can't be home to give out candy, turn your porch lights off. Do not leave a full bowl of candy out for kids to help themselves - give your candy to a neighbor and ask them to hand it out on your behalf instead.

Make sure your child eats a good dinner before heading outside so they won't be tempted to dip into their treats out of sheer hunger. Dress appropriately for the weather, even if it means covering up part of the costume.

Candy and Treats

Make sure your children know not to eat any treats they collect until they get home and you have inspected them. Throw away homemade treats unless they come from a trusted friend or relative. Likewise, toss any candy with ripped or damaged packaging.

Handing Out Candy

Animals will either be frightened on Halloween, or they will frighten children as they go trick-or-treating. Keep pets inside and away from the front door whenever possible.

Make sure your yard, porch, stairway, or anywhere else that will be accessible to kids is free of debris, yard tools, large piles of leaves, and anything that might prove dangerous to small children. The front of your home should be well-lit.

If you're playing spooky music or have a particularly scary costume or decor, be prepared to tone it down early in the evening for the very young trick-or-treaters who are easily frightened. As it gets darker and the older kids come out, you can up the fear factor accordingly.

Don't use glass or ceramic decorations outdoors in heavily trafficked areas. Keep candles well out of reach, and use battery-operated lighting wherever possible. If you don't plan to hand out candy, keep the porch lights off on Halloween night to let others know that you aren't participating.

Have a spooky, scary, and most of all, safe Halloween!

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