Halloween Safety Tips for Kids
Dressing as their favorite characters and loading up on candy makes trick-or-treating a fun and memorable event for children. But it’s important that along with all the fun, you keep your child’s safety front and center — especially this year.
You’re still navigating the new normal, and you’re probably trying to figure out what is best for you and your family. Whether you’re planning to do an alternative activity like carving pumpkins and watching a Halloween flick, doing an innovative solution like trunk-or-treating with friends and family or plan to do a social distancing trick-or-treat, it’s important to refresh yourself and your family on some new and old safety rules.
Read these tips to help protect your little ghosts and goblins as they prepare pumpkins, choose costumes and have a spooky, safe Halloween.
Preparing for Halloween
Come October, kids look forward to the fun they’ll have on Halloween night. But all the fun can be a distraction to some health and street safety smarts. Here are some important tips to keep young ramblers safe. Remember to take a look at our advice on Halloween safety around your home for an extra safe and happy one for your family.
Cross with caution. Remind the kids to look both ways before crossing the street, and to use established crosswalks wherever possible.
No crossing between cars. Because younger kids aren’t used to being on foot at night, it’s easy for them to assume they can be seen. Explain to them that crossing the street between cars is never a good idea, and it can be especially dangerous when it’s dark outside since there’s less visibility.
Enlist a chaperone. If you have younger trick-or-treaters to think about, have them trick-or-treat in groups with a trusted adult.
Pocket the phone. With all of the added fun and running around on Halloween night, the phone is one distraction that kids don’t need. So, have them put it away, and make sure they understand that if they want to use it, they’re going to do so safely.
Practice social distancing. Before you head outside, have a talk with your kids about the importance of giving other families space while trick-or-treating. While they might feel eager to get some treats, remind them that they need to take their turn and stand six feet away from others.
Stay outside. For health and safety reasons, never allow children to enter homes. Trick-or-treating is best done outside, at the door.
Feed them first. Giving the kids a big dinner right before they head out to trick or treat is a great way to limit their intake of candy while they’re out collecting it.
On Halloween Costumes and Face Paint
Staying home or not, a big part of the Halloween fun is dressing up your spooky best! But not all costumes and makeup kits are created equal. Look carefully at materials and ingredients to be sure your youngsters are protected this season.
Accessorize smartly. Make sure costume accessories — swords, knives, etc. — are short, soft and flexible to prevent injury to the child as well as those around them.
Protect their skin. Ghosts and goblins are scary, but un-vetted face paint and hair coloring spray could be more frightening. Look for American Academy of Pediatrics endorsements on makeup. Be certain to source non-toxic, FDA approved cosmetics, as many of the products on the shelves are unregulated and may contain dangerous chemicals and heavy metals.
Fireproofing is key. Finding a fire-resistant costume should be a priority. Look for costumes that have been fire treated to keep the kids safe. Also, tell them to keep away from the lit candles inside pumpkins or luminaries.
Choose a safety mask over the Werewolf mask. Even if you’re trick-or-treating outside, it’s recommended to wear a facemask to stop the spread of exhaled droplets. If your child is reluctant to wear a safety mask, try to discretely incorporate it into their costume. Maybe you get one designed to match their costume or encourage them to go as a doctor this year!
Although fun, costume masks can limit a kid’s eyesight; tripping hazards and other dangers may go unseen. Most costume masks also limit hearing, and that can mean big problems when checking for traffic.
Remember to reflect. Apply reflective tape to their costumes and bags so they're more visible to motorists. Provide flashlights to increase visibility and keep children from tripping over items in the dark.
Light the night. Accessorize with blinking red bicycle lights, too. This is a great idea because drivers are used to using caution around bicycles with lights like these.
Add visibility with glow sticks. One inexpensive upgrade to any outfit is to hook glow sticks to their costume for extra safety and added spookiness. They don’t require batteries and kids love playing with them!
What Halloween would be complete without those spooky pumpkins lit up from within? Get kids in the know on how to approach candles and jack-o-lanterns while out and about.
Let them do the art. When it comes to sculpting pumpkins, grown-ups are cut out to do the carving. Kids can spoon out the seeds and clean the inside. Then have them draw the face on the pumpkin and leave it to the adults to do the carving.
Free from fire. Light the jack-o-lantern with waterproof flashlights or glow sticks. Avoid using candles as they can pose a fire risk to nearby burnable items, as well as curious youngsters.
Inspect the Trick or Treat Candy
In addition to scheduling a dental checkup, it’s time to look carefully at the treats and goodies collected on that magical night. Here’s what you’ll need to know about the candy.
Check first. Before allowing your child to eat their treats, examine all items for choking hazards and tampering.
Be selective. Avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
Pair the Halloween candy with a star chart. Leverage the new candy by encouraging good habits and behavior. Not only does this control the amount of candy your kids have daily, but it’ll help ensure chores get done, too!
Halloween may look much different this year, but it’s undeniably a night many look forward to, and we want you to have a safe holiday. With these tips in mind, your kids can stay safe while enjoying all that this magical night has to offer. Have a Happy Halloween!