What are Some Halloween Safety Tips?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Halloween safety is an important concern for all who trick-or-treat, or for those accompanying trick-or-treaters. The goal, of course, is to have a great night, and even minor accidents can get in the way of Halloween fun.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to use Halloween as a reminder to change the batteries in home smoke detectors.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to use Halloween as a reminder to change the batteries in home smoke detectors.

There are specific tips for Halloween safety while trick or treating, but there is no call for unnecessary worry. For example, incidences of children receiving poisoned candy are highly overblown. There have actually been few of these cases. In each of them, a parent specifically targeted and poisoned his own child, or children. While it is not impossible to receive poisoned candy, the chances of this are remote.

The other urban myth that frequently makes people concerned about Halloween safety is that of razor blades or needles being pushed into candy. This has occurred about 80 times in the last 30 years. It remains an unlikely scenario.

Even though candy tampering is unlikely to occur, there is no reason not to practice Halloween safety tips when children receive candy from strangers. Certainly do not allow a child to eat candy before adults have thoroughly examined it. Any candy without wrappings, or food that is not wrapped, like fruit, should be discarded unless one can thoroughly trust the source.

For additional Halloween safety, discard wrapped food that looks squished, or appears to have been even partially opened. However, the occasional unwrapped candy is not cause for alarm, though it should be discarded. It is more likely the candy arrived that way in a bag. Anyone who opens a bag of candy can usually find an improperly wrapped piece or two.

If one still feels concern about Halloween safety in regard to taking candy from strangers, an alternative to trick or treating at unknown homes is to take children to a mall or to the many Halloween parties or “trunk or treat” events offered by individual families, organizations or church groups. Trunk or treats can be very fun, and usually offer one of the safest ways for kids to trick or treat.

Practicing Halloween safety should mean choosing safe costumes. Costumes should fit appropriately, and children should not have their field of vision obscured by masks, extra large sunglasses, or by big wigs. Additionally, consider bright costumes, or reflective tape on dark costumes so children are more visible when crossing the street.

Stop the costume at the shoe and have children wear regular and comfortable shoes. Observing this Halloween safety tip can mean less tripping from overlarge shoes. It also preserves the child’s feet from blistering from uncomfortable shoes.

Have an adult or several adults accompany children trick-or-treating. Carry several flashlights and a cellphone. In some places trick-or-treating can begin as early as 6 pm, so consider going out at an earlier time, especially if the next day is a school day.

Halloween safety tips dictate that children should never trick-or-treat alone, even if they are teens. Older kids may want to go in a group, but provide a cellphone to call home or the police, and agree upon a specified area for trick-or-treating or a specified return time.

Be sure kids are equipped with watches to keep a close eye on the time and tell them to avoid unlighted houses. These tend to be signs that the family within is not open for visits. Children should not have to deal with a cantankerous neighbor who doesn’t wish to be disturbed.

For ghosts and ghouls visiting one’s home, consider practicing Halloween safety tips, like clearly lighting a pathway to the house. Keep lit jack-o-lanterns out of range of costumes or little feet. Also be sure to remove obstacles like hoses from the walking path. If one has a large crack or step up to the house, one can minimize tripping by clearly marking these areas with reflective or yellow tape.

With proper regard for Halloween safety, the day can be a great deal of fun for children and adults alike. It is also a good time to educate kids on etiquette and safety regarding strangers. Additionally, fire departments throughout the US recommend using Halloween as a day to change your smoke alarm batteries, to alarm if an accidental jack-o-lantern fire occurs, and to protect your family throughout the rest of the year.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


Another option is to take children to some well known locations that make special, scary and fun entertainment for children and adult.

In California Legoland, Seaworld, Aquarium of the Pacific, are some places that offer Halloween programs.

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