We want your Halloween to be all treats and no tricks so we have put together this Halloween safety guide to make sure you, your little ones, and visiting trick-or-treaters have a safe, fun holiday. The most common injuries on Halloween include pedestrian injuries, eye injuries from sharp objects, novelty contacts, or makeup, and burns from costumes that have caught fire. These can all be prevented with a little preparation before the big day:
- Ensure that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping. Also ensure that any pieces that hang off costume arms or other areas are short enough the prevent them from dangling over flames, getting caught in car doors, or snagging on branches.
- Check tags to ensure that costumes and accessories are made from fire-resistant fabrics.
- Test any makeup on a small area of skin before applying. No one wants a nasty rash ruining their night on Halloween. Make sure to wash off makeup before children go to sleep to prevent it from causing irritation or getting rubbed into their eyes.
- Remember to spray on hairspray, spray-on hair dye, or other aerosols in a well-ventilated area.
- Choose costumes children can see and breathe well out of. Masks may be less suitable for younger children who are more likely to trip or run into things while their vision is restricted.
- If costumes rely on props such as wands, canes, or swords, ensure that they are soft enough that they will not cause injury if your child falls on them.
Tips for After Dark
- Place reflective tape on kids’ costumes and bags, give them glow sticks to carry, or purchase a light-up candy carrier. These will all help children be visible to drivers at night.
- Remind kids to look both ways before crossing intersections, stick to the sidewalks, and avoid running.
- Walk door-to-door with younger children. Establish a curfew and an acceptable distance to travel for older children. Send kids who will be going alone with a cell phone so you can check on them and they can call for help if needed.
Decoration Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t use real flames to illuminate pumpkins or other decorations. A battery-powered candle is much safer for your home and for passing tick-or-treaters who may have dangling costume pieces.
- Do clean up branches, hoses, or items that could trip visitors. Keep in mind when decorating to leave a clear, well-lit path to your door if you will be handing out treats.
- Teach children never to go anywhere with a stranger or enter their house or car.
- Remind them not to accept homemade or unsealed drinks or food from strangers while trick-or-treating.
- Do not send kids out to trick-or-treat hungry. This will help avoid the temptation for them to eat candy before it’s been inspected.
- Send them with fun treats like these or these to eat while they’re out and remind them not to eat any candy until they return home. Check all candy or other treats before allowing them to eat it.
- Remind them never to run while eating candy and ensure anything that could be a choking hazard is consumed while an adult is present.
- Halloween can be tough for children with food allergies. Many candies contain allergens or are made in facilities where contamination might happen.
- “Fun size” treats may contain allergens that their full-size counterparts do not, so it is never safe to assume that a candy is safe without reviewing the ingredients (which may or may not be listed on the label).
- Consider buying small toys, stickers, glow sticks, or other fun items to give out to children who can’t have traditional treats. Simply allow kids to choose whether they would like candy or non-feed treats when they come to the door. Even kids without food allergies will enjoy fun toys that will last long after their candy has been eaten.
- One way to indicate that you have treats that are safe for trick-or-treaters with food allergies is to place a teal pumpkin on your porch.
- The Teal Pumpkin Project was created by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to ensure that children with food allergies will feel included during the Halloween season.
How much do you know about Halloween safety? Take our QUIZ to find out!
We hope you enjoy a fun and safe Halloween with your little pumpkins!