Avoid the Super Scary on Halloween - Remember Safety First When Trick-or-Treating

posted by Laura Manwarren on Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Some people enjoy the scary aspects of Halloween, but there’s nothing fun or more frightening than an injury or illness caused by a trick-or-treat related accident. Remember these tips to put safety first.

The first thing to remember is traffic safety. Statistically, children are almost twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other day.

So, my first caution is to drivers: Be aware that excited children are out and about trick-or-treating and watch out for them. Turn on your headlights early to aid children and parents to see you. Also, discourage young, inexperienced drivers from being out when children are trick-or-treating.

My second reminder is to parents and guardians: Please accompany your young children or make sure they have adult supervision when trick-or-treating. Caution them on street safety and remind them to cross at intersections and to obey traffic lights. Teach your children not to go into a stranger’s home or car. Again, back to the first point, it’s wise to accompany children when trick-or-treating.

It’s also important to keep safety in mind when selecting Halloween costumes. Here are a few quick tips: 

  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  • If children will be out after dark or at dusk, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags or give them glow sticks to use or carry a flashlight.
  • Opt for nontoxic makeup instead of masks, which can obscure vision.
  • Try costumes on for length to avoid trip hazards. Also, loose, flowing costumes are more likely to get caught on shrubs, door handles and such.
  • Likewise, make sure shoes are comfortable and fit well to avoid falls
  • Avoid any sharp props such as swords, canes or sticks, which can hurt children if they stumble on them or use them to poke others.

Another important aspect of a happy and healthy Halloween is being mindful of treat safety. Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they return home and then look them over with your child. While the risks of food tampering are low, it still is a risk, and potentially an even greater risk is to make sure the item isn’t something that could prompt an allergic reaction.

Provide your child with a snack prior to trick-or-treating to reduce the temptation of eating treats before you can inspect them. Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, hard candies or small toys. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers.

Lastly, here are a few additional quick reminders:

  • It’s typically safest to trick-or-treat at the homes of people you know.
  • Watch for jack-o-lanterns on people’s porches because if they’ve used a candle to light up their pumpkin, a costume could accidentally catch on fire.
  • If your older children go with a group, make sure they know your phone number and address in case the kids are separated from the others. Remind them that if they’re with a group make sure they stick together and no one gets left behind.

And, most of all, keep in mind these precautions are designed for you and your children to enjoy the night without a frightening incident. Enjoy the festivities and remember these safety tips … and to say Thank You!

  1. children
  2. safety

About The Author

Laura Manwarren

Laura Manwarren, RN, BSN serves as the Safety Director at Spencer Hospital.