Better safe than scary! Whether you’re taking the kids trick-or-treating this Halloween or staying home, use these tips for a fun and safe Halloween.
Halloween can be a fun holiday for kids, but it can be scary for their parents and caregivers! Injuries and visits to the emergency room are more common among kids on Halloween than on almost any other day of the year. The number of kids between the ages of five and 14 fatally injured by cars on Halloween is four times higher than on other days.
Help make Halloween safer for everybody—follow these trick-or-treating safety tips!
Wear safe costumes. If your kids are in costume, make sure that hems are short to prevent trips and falls. Store-bought costumes should also be flame-resistant, so that they won’t easily catch on fire around jack-o-lanterns and other decorations.
Kids should wear safe, comfortable shoes (like sneakers) for trick-or-treating to avoid blisters and injuries. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure s/he can breathe easily through the mask and that his/her vision isn’t impaired. If you can, use makeup instead of masks.
Map out a safe route in advance. Plan where you’re going to trick-or-treat ahead of time. If your kids are old enough, they can help you plan a route or make a map. Visit streets and homes you already know to stay safe and keep from getting lost.
Wear ID. Make sure each of your kids wears emergency identification including his/her name, address, and phone number before going trick-or-treating. Hide this information from public view—you never want strangers to be able to use your child’s name. Ask your child to keep his/her ID somewhere secret where s/he can reach it if s/he needs to ask for help.
Beware of stranger danger. Before your kids go trick-or-treating, make sure they know not to go into a stranger’s house or get into cars with anyone they don’t know.
Trick-or-treat in daylight. Go trick-or-treating before sunset. If you trick-or-treat in the dark, carry glowsticks, use reflective tape on costumes, and/or carry a flashlight. People will be driving in the city, and it’s important that they see you.
Don’t go alone. Young kids trick-or-treating should be with an adult at all times. If trick-or-treating with a small child, go to front doors together. Older kids should travel in groups. Always bring a phone if you can.
Follow traffic rules. Wait for the signal to cross the street, walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks, and don’t take shortcuts across lawns or driveways. Stay in lighted areas, and look both ways before you cross the street.
Check candy before eating. Make sure all candy and treats are in their original, sealed wrapping and haven’t been opened or damaged. Throw away any open or loose candy, fruit, or homemade treats. If anything tastes strange, looks like it has been messed with, or makes your child sick, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, or call 9-1-1.
Drive carefully. Even if you don’t have children, you can help keep them safe by driving slowly and carefully, checking intersections, and being cautious when making turns. Keep your lights on and an eye out for little ones!
Report suspicious activity to 3-1-1. If you see something that concerns you, speak up.
Looking for some fun things to do this Halloween weekend? Find them here!
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“Halloween Safety Tips from the New York Police Department,” NY Metro Parents. Accessed September 16, 2016.
“Safety Tips for Halloween,” New York State Police. Accessed September 16, 2016.