Halloween is all about imagination, spooky thrills, fun tricks, and, of course, delicious treats. However, this time of year comes with extra risks for both children and adults. Here are some helpful hints to have your Halloween be as fun and safe as possible.
Costume Safety Tips
When choosing a costume for kids or adults, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Ensure all parts (wigs, costumes, accessories) are flame-resistant.
- Consider adding reflective tape to trick-or-treat bags and costumes for greater visibility in the dark.
- Use non-toxic makeup; test the product ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no allergic reactions.
- Shoes should fit well and be comfortable walking greater distances. Costumes should also be short enough not to get caught on objects or cause tripping.
- Any wigs or beards should not cover eyes, noses, or mouths. Adults should only wear masks as they make it hard for children to see and breathe.
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Safety Tips for Children
When trick-or-treating, limit the area to your neighborhood and the houses of people you know. Adults should always accompany children under 12 and stay on well-lit streets. For extra light, bring flashlights with fresh batteries or glow sticks. Use the sidewalk whenever possible; if none is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
Unfortunately, children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day. Make sure all your kids know the importance of crossing any street at the crosswalk, and never assume that vehicles will see you and stop. Reiterate the importance of visiting a home with a porch light on and caution them never to enter a home or car for a treat. Review with children how to call 911 if they get lost or in the event of an emergency.
For older kids going out with their friends, remind them of the importance of staying together and alert while walking. This means no texting, talking on or looking at your phone, or listening to music. Plan and review an acceptable route for the kids to travel on and a time when they need to return home.
Safety Tips for Adults
Adults are responsible for taking extra care and precautions regarding kids’ health and safety on Halloween.
You can do multiple things at home to prepare for trick-or-treaters. First, removing tripping hazards on your front porch and sidewalk is essential. Children are super excited and often run to each house, so keep the path clear of garden hoses, cords, bikes, and toys. Check all your outdoor lights to ensure they work correctly, and replace any burned-out bulbs. If you have over-friendly or aggressive pets, restrain them so they do not jump or bite trick-or-treaters.
When your kids get home, have them wash their hands before eating any candy. Help them check all treats to make sure they’re sealed and untampered. Throw out candy with holes or tears, spoiled items, and any homemade treats that weren’t made by someone you know. Keep hard candy and gum away from young children who could choke.
If you are driving anywhere on Halloween, there are some things to remember. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 – 9:30 PM, so take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on curbs, and on medians. Slow down and be alert in neighborhoods; children are incredibly excited and run around unpredictably. Enter and exit alleys and driveways slowly and carefully. Turn your headlights on early to spot children from further away. Last but certainly not least, silence your phone and do not call or text while driving on Halloween.