6 Halloween Trick or Treat Safety Tips for Families

As you make final adjustments to costumes, finishing decorating the house, and ensure that you have enough candy for trick or treaters, it’s also a good time to think about safety for Halloween night. Dimly lit streets, dark colored costumes, candles inside pumpkins, and traffic present certain hazards that are good to keep in mind.

“Just about everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.

Here are some additional safety tips to help everyone stay safe on Halloween:

Do a costume check. The NFPA recommends that families stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If your child’s costume is looking a bit long, give it a trim or tie it up. Also, if your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.

See and be seen with glow sticks. Disposable glow sticks are fine to help kids be seen on a dark night but we love light up glow sticks from Rayovac because the light stays illuminated as long as it’s on and they come with a handy lanyard that goes around their neck to keep hands free. There’s no fumbling around as they ring doorbells, hold treat bags, and accept candy from our neighbors, plus there’s nothing in their hands in the event they stumble and fall and need to catch themselves before hitting the hard pavement.

Replace candles with battery powered lights. With decorations being the start of many home fires, the NFPA recommends avoiding candle decorations. “Costumes with billowing or long trailing fabric and candle decorations should be avoided to keep fun events from turning into tragedies,” Carli recommends. Instead, tea lights can provide a constant safe glow inside pumpkins and other decorations to replace hazardous candles but if you must use candles, the NFPA recommends keeping them well attended at all times to keep everyone safer.

Trick or treat together. Not only is trick or treating is always more fun with others but there’s also safety in being with a group. Younger ages love going out with mom and dad but tweens might balk at the idea of parental supervision. Rather than a group of parents accompany the tweens, plan to have one or two parents go with the group who can hang back on the sidewalk as they ring doorbells to help the kids maintain their cool factor.

Exercise safety when crossing the street. Sticking to one side of the street at a time, rather than zig zagging through a neighborhood, and taking an extra second to pause before crossing at intersections can keep kids safer while trick or treating when it’s dark. Older kids with trick or treating experience who are going out with friends should also receive a gentle reminder before heading out on their own.

Check candy before consuming. It’s so tempting to eat as you go but encourage kids to hand candy to a parent to give it a once over to ensure that the package is sealed before diving in. Once you’re home, dump out the candy haul out on the kitchen table and have kids help you sort to search for any candy with ripped packaging that will need to be thrown away.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Portrait of happy friends sitting together on stairs in Halloween outfit via Shutterstock

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