Updated: Oct 29, 2019
It’s not surprising that Halloween is a favorite for parents and children! Kids love to dress up, go trick-or-treating, and eat candy. But, Halloween night can also be dangerous. Make sure to follow these safety tips to ensure a safe and fun evening!
1. Enforce Traffic Safety on Halloween Night
Parents should never let their guard down, especially when it comes to following traffic safety. A recent study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that pedestrians are struck and killed 43% more on Halloween night than on any other Autumn nights. Parents and children should obey traffic signals, walk on sidewalks, and cross at crosswalks. And most importantly, parents need to put their phones away and keep their heads up!
2. Make Sure Everyone Follows Safety Protocols
Young children under the age of 12 should always have an adult present, but if your child is old enough to trick-or-treat with friends, make sure everyone stays together, is aware of what time to come home, and only trick-or-treats at houses with brightly-lit porches.
Children should also memorize their home phone number and address in case of an emergency. Parents should take one extra step and include a communications card with contact and medical information in their child’s costume.
3. See Something, Say Something
Make sure to remain vigilant throughout Halloween night, and if you notice any suspicious individuals or behaviors, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1. Choose brightly-lit walking paths that you’re familiar with, and if necessary, make practice runs ahead of Halloween night.
4. Remain Alert While Driving on Halloween
Make sure to drive extra slow around neighborhoods with children present and keep an eye out for distracted walkers that might dart out into the street. If you’re pulling out of a parking space, look behind you, check your blind spots, and roll down the windows to listen for children.
5. Make Costume Safety a High Priority
Make sure to dress children in weather-appropriate layers, especially if Halloween night calls for rain or cold weather.
When choosing a costume:
Add reflective tape or bright-colored materials.
Choose a safe, flame-retardant costume.
Apply non-toxic face paint instead of a face mask.
Make sure your child’s costume fits properly.
Avoid loose clothing as it can be a tripping hazard, catch fire, or cause strangulation.
Avoid swords and canes with sharp edges.
6. Provide Children with Bright-Colored Accessories
On Halloween, the days grow shorter, nighttime comes on fast, and drivers need to be able to spot children.
Bright accessories include:
Bright-colored trick-or-treating bags.
Glow sticks or flashlights.
Hats or Wigs.
7. Thoroughly Examine all Candy Before Children Indulge
Feed kids a full meal before heading out, and they won’t be tempted to sneak treats along the way.
Teach kids about candy safety:
Make sure children know not to accept any baked goods.
Teach children to ration candy to avoid tummy aches.
Tell children not to share candy with friends that have food allergies.
Examine all candy for strange lumps, smells, rips, defects, and expiration dates.
8. Keep Your Home Safe on Halloween Night
It can be easy to get caught up in all the excitement of Halloween night, but your home must stay safe and secure. Life360 says to “Use Christmas lights to illuminate the path to the door.” and to “Make sure scary gags are harmless. Instead of shovels or pitchforks, opt for rubber/fake alternatives.”
Keep your home safe on Halloween:
Choose LED candles. Open flames can cause fires, especially when children are excitedly running around.
Never let young children carve pumpkins.
Make sure your front porch is well-lit and free of clutter and sharp objects.
Keep your furry friends indoors.
Young children may be frightened by Halloween night. Before heading out, talk to them in advance about costumes and make-believe.
Extra Safety Tips from iFamilyKC:
Do not wear decorative contact lenses. As creepy and fun as these might be, these lenses are not prescribed by a professional. They could cause serious damage or irritate kids' eyes.
Parents: Carry your ID with you while trick-or-treating.
Check out the rest of their great tips here!
Kids and parents should always feel safe on Halloween. Caregivers should go over any questions children may have before heading out trick-or-treating. Remember to remain vigilant and stay safe!
The Institute for Childhood Preparedness has decades of experience in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Schedule a training with us today. We are proud to offer all of our workshops in English and Spanish! Find out more: https://www.childhoodpreparedness.org/aboutus.