Keep Your Kids Safe on Halloween

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  • Don’t Get Spooked

    Don’t Get Spooked

    Kids love Halloween. But if you’re a parent, chances are you’re trying to push worries of poisoned candy or dangerous strangers out of your head.

    Don’t let terror overtake the fun this year. Follow our tips to ensure that your little ghouls will have a safe and happy Halloween.

  • Tainted Candy Is an Urban Legend

    Tainted Candy Is an Urban Legend

    While it's wise to allow your kids to eat only wrapped candy, incidences of poison and sharp things in Halloween treats are about as real as the boogie monster.

    Joel Best, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, studied media reports going back to 1958. He found no evidence of any child being killed or seriously harmed by a contaminated Halloween treat. All deaths originally attributed to Halloween candy were later revealed to be from other causes.

  • The Real Dangers of Halloween

    The Real Dangers of Halloween

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), child pedestrians are four times more likely to be killed in pedestrian-car collisions on Halloween night than any other night of the year.

    Another real concern is the danger of accidents. Costumes that have long robes or pants can increase the risk for falls and may become entangled in bicycle chains. Lit pumpkins and other fire hazards can lead to serious burns.

    The hazard your child is probably most at risk for is a bellyache, a natural result of eating too much candy.

  • Decorations

    Decorations

    First-time parents and seasoned veterans alike can benefit from making a Halloween safety checklist. Ensure that there are only treats, and no tricks this year with these tips:

    • Keep jack-o'-lanterns away from decorations, curtains, and landings and doorsteps, where they can set trailing costumes on fire.
    • Check all Halloween decorative lights for frayed or bare wires and loose connections.
    • Remove obstacles from your lawns, steps, and porches, to help trick-or-treaters coming to your home avoid nasty falls.
    • Keep your front lawn well-lit.
  • Costumes

    Costumes

    • Make sure costumes aren't too long—they raise the risk for falls.
    • Use masks that don't obstruct a child's vision.
    • Buy costumes that are labeled "flame-retardant," and be sure your child wears shoes that fit them properly.
    • If your child is going to be out after dark, consider light-colored costumes that are easily visible to motorists. Trim costumes and candy buckets with reflective tape and give your kids glow sticks to carry.
    • Make sure all accompanying swords, knives, and other weapon props are made of soft, flexible material.
  • Trick-or-Treating

    Trick-or-Treating

    • Teach your child never to go into someone's home, even if invited. Accompany them on the walk around the neighborhood until they are at least 12 years old.
    • Take a flashlight, use the sidewalk, and be sure to stop at all intersections and look carefully before crossing the street. Make sure your child knows the rules of the road if they’re going out unsupervised.
    • Trick-or-treat only in safe, well-lit areas. If you send your kids out alone, be sure that they have a cell phone with them and you know where they're going.
  • Halloween Loot

    Halloween Loot

    • Make it a rule that your child must save all Halloween treats until you check them over. Throw out loose candy, spoiled items, and homemade treats—unless they're made by someone you know.
    • Store extra candy in another container so children don't eat too much at once.
    • For trick-or-treaters three years of age or younger, check the loot for small toys and other potential choking hazards.
  • Have a Healthy Halloween

    Have a Healthy Halloween

    Following our safety checklist is the best way to eliminate the immediate dangers of Halloween. But teaching your kids to think of candy as a treat rather than a regular part of their diet will help ward off type-2 diabetes like garlic does vampires. And that’s a safeguard that will last long after the costumes are put away.

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