Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to the safety of our little trick-or-treaters. Fortunately, there are lots of easy things families and kids can do to stay safe. Below are some safety tips that we would like to share with you as we prepare for Halloween. 

Trick-or-Treating Safety

Walk Safely

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Costumes for a Safe Halloween

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Get rid of any distractions – like your phone – in your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Be especially alert for kids during those hours.

While Trick-or-Treating

  • Supervision is important. Be sure to scan the environment for any potential dangers, such as crowds, speeding cars, strangers, or even unfamiliar animals.
  • Remember your planned route and visit only well-lit homes. If possible, stay on the sidewalks.
  • Remind children to walk instead of running between houses.
  • Never let kids go inside a home to accept candy, unless you know the home personally.
  • Be mindful of what your child has in their hands. Avoid allowing them to carry too much (i.e., a costume prop, a candy bag, etc.)

After Trick-or-Treating: Check Candy

  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats.
  • Examine all treats before eating.
  • Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any of the following candies that have:
    • An unusual appearance or discoloration
    • Tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers
    • Spoiled or unwrapped items
    • Homemade items or baked goods should be discarded unless you personally know who gave them
    • When in doubt, throw it out
  • Be sure to supervise your child when they’re eating candy to avoid choking hazards.
  • Talk about food allergies and why they should avoid sharing candy with friends.
  • Help your child build healthy habits by talking about the importance of rationing candy consumption.

Alternatives to Consider

  • Attending trunk-or-treat events at our local schools, churches or business.
  • Plan a family-friendly gathering at home with themed games and movies.

Keeping all these tips in mind will help to create a safe and healthy holiday for everyone.

Have a Happy Halloween!