Halloween Safety for the Family

Children Trick or Treating in Halloween costumes

Halloween is a family-favorite holiday across the United States. Each year, families dress up as their favorite characters, plan parties, and go trick-or-treating. However, Halloween is not all fun and games; children are more than twice as likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Before the holiday, take time to speak to your family about ways to stay safe on Halloween. Whether you will be trick-or-treating at home or on the road this October 31st, here are some safety tips for you and your family:

Trick-or-Treating Safety:

  • Set age-specific rules for your kids and make sure they know them before they head out for the evening. Children under 12 should be accompanied by a trusted adult. Teens should always travel in groups along a planned route. Remind them that they should NEVER go inside a stranger’s home or vehicle.
  • Whether your children are with an adult or with a group of peers, make sure they are equipped with a flashlight and a fully charged cellphone in case they need to call home or emergency services.
  • Trick-or-treaters should stay on well-lit streets. When possible, they should also stay on the sidewalk. In areas without sidewalks, pedestrians should stay as far to the left as possible, walking in the opposite direction of traffic. When crossing the street, they should not assume that drivers will stop. Instead, they should be hesitant and always look left-right-left before crossing. When possible, pedestrians should only cross at crosswalks. Trick-or-treaters should always walk and never run when walking along the street or crossing it.
  • Keep costumes safe. Costumes that are too long or baggy become a tripping hazard, which are dangerous when crossing the street. Costumes with masks or face pieces can obscure a child’s vision or hinder their breathing. Be sure to check your child’s costume before they leave for the night to make sure everything is safely in place. You can also take this opportunity to attach a piece of reflective tape to the back and/or front of your child’s costume. This will make them more visible to drivers and others.
  • Any costume accessory that trick-or-treaters have should be safety proofed. Items like swords and knives should be short, soft, and flexible.
  • Instruct your trick-or -treaters to eat only factory wrapped treats and avoid homemade items, unless they are from a person they trust. Candy should be inspected by a parent for any signs of tampering or damage. Once you have inspected candy, collect it and dole it out in healthy serving sizes. This is an easy way to limit your child’s sugar intake and make their stash of candy last longer.

At Home Safety:

  • If you will be serving trick-or-treaters from your own home, make the path to your front door as safe and easy to navigate as possible. Remove potential tripping hazards like extension cords, stones, or sticks and make sure the path is well lit.
  • In order to make trick-or-treaters feel as safe as possible, keep your porch light and another light inside the doorway on.
  • Keep family pets away from the door when trick-or-treaters arrive. Although your pet may seem harmless to you, you never know how a child may react.
  • If you will be decorating pumpkins this year, consider opting for a knife-free “carving” party. Offer children glitter, markers, stickers, and glitter glue instead. In addition to being safer, these jack-o-lanterns will also last longer than their carved counterparts.
  • If you do end up carving a pumpkin, use a fake candle or battery-powered light inside to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Hosting a party this year? Consider expanding your snack menu to include fruits, veggies, and some protein! Most guests will already have gotten their fill of Halloween candy, so a healthy alternative will be welcome.

On the Road Safety:

  • If you will be on the road this Halloween, you should generally slow down and keep alert. Not all children will be properly trained on crossing the street, looking both ways, and using crosswalks. Slowing down and keeping alert of your surroundings can help protect your community’s children.
  • Be aware of your neighborhood’s trick-or-treat schedule. Not all trick-or-treating takes place on October 31st; many communities schedule trick-or-treat days in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Be aware of what days you should specifically be prepared for trick-or-treaters on the street.
  • Make sure your headlights are on even if it seems early. This will make you more visible to trick-or-treaters and will also illuminate any reflective tape that trick-or-treaters may be wearing.

No plans for Halloween this year? Call Capital Women’s Care to set up an appointment for your annual visit, a mammogram, or another procedure.

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The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.


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