25 Halloween Safety Tips
“The National Safety Council reports children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.” Parents also worry about injuries, allergies, and tampered candy. On top of these concerns, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Spreading awareness about how to stay safe on Halloween ensures a safer holiday for everyone. Here are some safety tips for parents – those with younger children and older kids.
Everyone has a part to play so read up, stay safe and have fun.
Halloween safety tips for younger children
1. Supervise children ages 12 and under.
Parents or other adults should walk with younger kids while they’re trick-or-treating. Use this time to teach them about pedestrian safety, such as watching for cars. Obey traffic signals, especially when crossing streets.
As kids grow, they’ll prefer to hang out with their friends. Law enforcement and child-experts still encourage parental supervision, even from a distance.
2. Eat a small meal before the festivities begin.
If children eat ahead of time, they’re less likely to binge on candy and other sweets. This is especially helpful if you’d like to check their candy first.
Also, bring water bottles if you plan on trick-or-treating for longer than an hour. Stay hydrated!
3. Be seen.
Keep your kids visible espeically after the sun goes down. Make sure they:
- carry glow sticks
- wear bright costumes and colors
- bring flashlights
- wear reflective tape or
- carry glow-in-the-dark candy bags or containers
4. Create or wear safe costume choices.
For example, costumes and footwear that fit properly help prevent kids from tripping and falling.
If you have children who aren’t potty-trained, purchase a size up to make room for the diaper. And if your family lives in a colder climate, do the same to make room for long pants and sleeves. Halloween safety tips include staying warm out there.
Choose material that is flame-retardant or flame-resistant.
Put a nametag with your phone number on costumes for younger children. This is especially helpful if they’ll be in a crowded situation.
Use non-toxic face paint rather than costume masks because kids need to see where they’re going. Masks sometimes hinder that ability.
Make sure wigs and beards don’t cover their eyes or noses.
Avoid any contact lens or eyewear that isn’t prescribed by a doctor. And ensure all props, like swords, are small, plastic and flexible.
5. Keep phones at home.
Younger children should leave their phones at home. If they must carry one, have adult supervisors hold them. This will help them better pay attention. Rather than looking down, they should watch where they’re going.
Teach them ahead of time to call 911 in case they get lost. They should also know their home number or your cell phone number for the same reason.
6. Make eye-contact with drivers.
This is especially helpful when trying to cross the street. Motorists should see your kids and wave or nod them on.
7. Use sidewalks.
Consider other options for trick-or-treating if your neighborhood doesn’t have them. For example, local malls, community centers and parks are great alternatives. They typically have candy and games for children around Halloween every year.
And encourage your kids to walk, rather than run, while hunting for candy.
8. Stay outside.
Outside activities are preferable when children aren’t wearing masks to prevent COVID-19.
Keep your children at home if they’re sick or otherwise immune-compromised. Invite over a few children who might be in the same boat. Watch a kid-friendly Halloween movie, treat everyone to homemade snacks, and host contests with prizes.
9. Get a head start.
If your children are under the age of two, take them out as early as possible to avoid crowds.
10. Check bags of candy when you get home.
Make sure all candy is in untampered, sealed packages. Throw out anything torn, spoiled or made by someone you don’t know.
Avoid hard candy, nuts or bubble gum for young children. They’re considered choking hazards.
11. Make the candy last.
After inspecting everything they brought home, give the kids a few pieces. Then put the bag of candy in the pantry. Consider a few pieces a day or as special treats. If done right, Halloween candy can last until Valentine’s Day!
Halloween safety tips for older kids
12. Stay in groups.
If your teenagers are trick-or-treating without adult supervision, make sure they stick together. Review basic safety rules. Agree they will stay in the area so you know where they are at all times.
They should only go to houses with outside/porch lights on. Avoid strangers’ homes or cars. Never cut across yards or use alleys.
13. Be prepared.
Remind them to carry a cell phone and flashlight.
14. Set a curfew.
Talk to each other and determine a time for them to return home safely.
Always remind kids that it’s never okay to speed home, especially if driving, just to make curfew. Talk about ways to keep an eye on the time. Safety comes first.
Other Halloween safety tips for parents
15. Sit outside when giving kids candy this year.
This can especially help younger children who aren’t vaccinated. Consider wearing a medical or fabric mask to keep them safe and healthy.
16. Put treats outside and remain in the house if you’re concerned about COVID.
Candy can go on your porch, at the end of your driveway or on a sidewalk for kids to take. Just be prepared to refill it often!
17. Have extra sanitizer on hand for those who might need it.
Place it near your candy or hold it for trick-or-treaters to use.
18. Be a good neighbor.
Turn on your outside lights and remove anything from your lawn/walkway that could cause children to trip.
19. Sweep away leaves or snow.
Kids can slip on them, especially when it’s dark outside.
20. Put up warning signs if your sidewalks are slippery.
Ice is not always visible to the naked eye.
21. Keep dogs inside.
Consider an alternate room away from the front door so as not to scare little ones.
22. Consider allergies and purchase different kinds of candy and treats.
This also includes non-edible treats like spooky rings, playdough, temporary tattoos, small toys or stickers.
23. Decorate pumpkins with colored markers and glitter.
This is safer than using carving knives. Also, consider battery-operated candles rather than burning ones. If you do use real candles, place pumpkins in safe areas where no one can get burned.
24. Drive safely.
Too many children are hit by cars on Halloween. Here’s what you can do as a driver:
- slow down, especially between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
- stay alert
- use headlights before it gets dark
- be especially careful when exiting or entering driveways