Halloween safety: Tips for trick-or-treaters

Make Halloween safety part of your holiday fun. Start with these practical Halloween safety tips.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

It's the time of year for costumes, sweets, and tricks and treats. While Halloween offers plenty of make-believe fun, it also brings real safety risks, as children dart across dark streets with their minds more on candy than on cars. Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on other nights of the year.

Burns and cuts are also common on Halloween. And then there's the candy: Almost two-thirds of parents think their kids eat too much of it around Halloween.

Halloween can be safely enjoyed — especially when parents put extra care into planning and supervision. Talk with your children every year about safety concerns unique to this holiday, and review do's and don'ts before heading out to trick or treat.

Follow these tips to keep your family safe this spooky season.

Carve safely

Before you start carving pumpkins, consider these Halloween safety rules:

  • Decorate with markers, glitter glue or paint. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with art supplies. Leave any carving to an adult.
  • Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Better yet, light pumpkins with flashlights, battery-operated flameless candles or glow sticks instead.

Get clever with costumes

From furry animals to princesses and superheroes, choosing costumes wisely is an important part of Halloween safety. Follow these tips:

  • The brighter the better. Whether you buy a costume or make one yourself, choose bright colors and flame-retardant materials. If your child will be trick-or-treating outdoors after dark, attach reflective tape to his or her costume or treat bag.
  • Size it right. In case it's chilly outdoors, make sure your child's costume is loose enough for warm clothing to be worn underneath — but not long enough to cause tripping. Avoid oversized shoes and high heels.
  • Skip the masks. A mask can obstruct your child's vision, especially if it slips out of place. Use kid-friendly, nontoxic makeup instead.
  • Limit accessories. Pointed props — such as wands, swords and knives — might pose safety hazards. Carry flashlights or wear glowing wristbands instead.
Sept. 02, 2016 See more In-depth