Halloween safety tips for kids, parents and homeowners

Here is a list of reminders for a safe Halloween.

For trick-or-treaters:

  • Remember to look both ways before crossing the street and watch for traffic. Use sidewalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk available walk on the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.

  • DON'T RUN when crossing the street or going from house to house. Cross the road at the corner or at a cross walk.

  • Start your candy-filled night while it's still light outside and remember to bring a flash light.

  • Be aware of strangers and stay cautious.

  • Only visit houses that have the porch light turned on.

  • Never enter a stranger's home or vehicle.

  • Never cut across yards or through alleys when going from house to house.

  • Remove your mask or eye wear before crossing a street.

  • Cover one side of the street at a time.

  • Stay with an adult or with the leader of your group.

  • Stay away from open flames or candles, even if they're in a jack-o-lantern.

  • Don't pet any animal you don't know.

  • Wait until you get home to eat your treats and have an adult check them first.

  • If you feel scared or threatened go to the nearest restaurant or store and call an adult you trust.

For parents and adults:

  • Always accompany small children, and older children should stay in groups.

  • Consider make-up rather than masks, since masks can make it difficult to see oncoming traffic.

  • Wear light-colored clothing or add reflective tape to dark costumes to make them visible. Flame resistant costumes are the best ones.

  • Remind children to approach only familiar houses that are well lighted.

  • Talk with them about never entering a stranger’s house or vehicle.

  • Consider trick-or-treating with your children for their safety and because it’s fun way to spend an evening.

  • Trick-or-treaters should carry flashlights or “glow sticks.”

  • Costumes should be no longer than ankle-length to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

  • Children should wear comfortable, well-fitting, sturdy shoes.

  • Wear flame-resistant costumes. Avoid paper costumes.

  • Avoid capes that could pose strangulation risks by getting caught on structures or protrusions your child may encounter.

  • Make sure props such as swords, scythes, pitchforks, spears, wands or knives are flexible (not rigid) with smooth or rounded tips to prevent eye or other injuries.

  • If driving children to trick-or-treat, make sure they exit the vehicle on the curbside and not the traffic side.

  • Instruct your children not to eat any candy until they bring it home and you examine it thoroughly. Inspect commercially wrapped candy for tampering (unusual appearance, discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers). Discard anything suspicious. Throw out homemade treats.

  • Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard while wearing a costume.

  • Secure identification (name, address, phone number) on or within a child’s costume. You may also consider writing this information on your child’s arm using a Sharpie-style pen.

  • Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 if they become lost or have an emergency. (9-1-1 service can be dialed free from any phone).

For homeowners:

  • Turn on your porch light if you want trick-or-treaters! Don't forget to provide lighting outside as well.

  • Get rid of any tripping hazards in the walkway.

  • Remove slipping hazards like wet leaves from the steps and sidewalk.

  • Try to use battery powered lights in jack-o-lanters instead of candles. If you use a candle, set it out of the walk way to prevent accidental fires.

  • Keep dried leaves and cornstalks away from flames and heat sources.

  • Don't drape decorative fabric over a light bulb.

  • Make sure paper or cloth is kept away from burning candles.

  • Do not overload outlets or extension cords with lighting or special effects.

  • Avoid using luminaries (small candles inside decorative paper bags) as lighting.

  • Keep pets locked away or indoors to protect them from vehicles or incidents with trick-or-treaters.

For drivers:

  • Stay alert for pedestrian traffic. Children may not "stop, look and listen" before crossing the street.

  • SLOW DOWN and be patient. Give children time to cross the street.

  • Drive defensively. Don't assume a pedestrian will move in a predictable way.

  • Be extra cautious where vehicles are parked on the side of the road. Trick-or-treaters may run between the vehicles.

  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

  • If you are wearing a costume, make sure it doesn't impair your vision.

  • If you attend a Halloween party that includes alcohol, have a sober driver for the trip home.

For pet owners:

  • Keep pets inside. They might feel threatened or frightened by the noises or costumed children.

  • Keep them away from frequently opened doors because they provide the perfect opportunity for escape.

  • Cat parents, keep them in a separate room. Dog parents, keep them on a leash. Be sure all pets are wearing collars with ID tags.

  • Don't take the pets with you trick-or-treating.

  • Cats, especially black cats, can be the target of pranks. Try to keep them indoors.

  • Candy can be harmful for pets and chocolate can be toxic. No candy for pets if you can help it.

  • Decorations can be a hazard. Flames in jack-o'-lanterns and candles could burn them.

  • Only put your pets in costume if you're SURE they enjoy it.

  • Don't forget to stay safe and have fun this Halloween!


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