Trick or Treat!


Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween

Halloween can be a pretty scary holiday for children. Besides the witches, ghosts and monsters, accidents and mishaps increase dramatically when children trick-or-treat. To avoid dangers use common sense- be aware of potential Halloween hazards and take precautions to eliminate them. Here are some tips to help you and your family enjoy Halloween safely.

One of the most exciting things for kids about Halloween is picking out costumes. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when buying or making that perfect vampire, Superman or fairy costume:

  • Wear flame-retardant costumes, wigs and accessories
  • Make sure any make-up is hypoallergenic and non-toxic
  • If simulated knives, guns or swords are part of the costume, then make sure they don’t appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
  • Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.

Get your kids involved in decorating for Halloween, but be aware of some possible dangers:

  • Consider fire safety when putting up decorations– Don’t block exits or overload electrical outlets with lighting and eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway for trick-or-treaters.
  • Always keep Jack O’ Lanterns and electric lamps away from curtains and decorations or areas where children and pets will be.
  • While kids can help with the fun of designing a Jack O’ Lantern, leave the carving to adults.
  • Prepare household pets for an evening of strange sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when your kids are getting ready for trick-or-treating:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage your kids from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or get lost.
  • Agree on a specific time when your kids are expected home.
  • Help your children plan their route ahead of time.

Be sure to go over with your kids these important safety tips for trick-or-treating:

  • Stay in a group and always walk.
  • Only trick-or-treat in well known neighborhoods. Remain on well-lit streets and only approach homes with some kind of porch light on.
  • Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
  • Do not cut across yards or use alleys. Only cross the street as a group and take off any mask that might limit eyesight before crossing.
  • Don’t eat unwrapped food items or open beverages offered.
  • Respect other people and their property.
  • Be polite and say “thank-you” for those Halloween goodies.

Suggestions for after trick-or-treating:

  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, you should examine candy and throw away any spoiled or suspicious items.
  • Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
  • Make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to kids of an appropriate age.

If your children are too young for trick-or-treating, or if you’d rather have them spend the night indoors, here are some fun Halloween alternatives:

  • Find a special event or start one in your own neighborhood. Community centers, malls and houses of worship may have organized activities.
  • Consider having a party instead of Trick or Treating.


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