Halloween Street Smarts

Halloween night is one of the most dangerous nights for children, with twice as many child pedestrians getting injured compared to any other night of the year. Even though kids and families look forward to this spooky holiday, it’s important to take precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. With the following Halloween street smarts tips, you can keep your family safe while enjoying the holiday festivities.

Trick or Treating Tips

  • Always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. Research shows that evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. are the riskiest times of day for child pedestrians.
  • Stay on well-lit streets and always use sidewalks. Only go to homes with a porch light on and, ideally, a well-lit pathway.
  • If your older children are trick-or-treating alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home and get flashlights with batteries for everyone.
  • Older children should travel in groups and create a “buddy system” to get each other home safely.
  • Caution kids to never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats before eating them. Though tampering is rare, it can happen. Closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.

Costume Caution

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting as part of their costumes.
  • Opt for nontoxic Halloween makeup over masks, which can obscure vision; always test makeup in a small area first to see if any irritation develops.
  • Make sure the costumes are not so long your child is in danger of tripping.

Homeowner Hazards

  • Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs. Keep your entrance well-lit.
  • Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and steps to prevent anyone from slipping on them.
  • Restrain pets so they do not jump on or bite a trick-or-treater. Children are the most common victims of dog bites and the most likely to be severely injured. Teach your child never to pet a dog without asking permission first.
  • Skip open flames. Don’t light any candles. Consider using flickering LED lights that look like real candles but generate no heat.