Statistical Importance: N/A
No relevant statistics Available
If you’re a trick-or-treater,
- Stick to familiar neighborhoods
- Visit only homes that are well-lit and look welcoming.
- Always travel with company; as in most situations, there’s often safety in numbers.
- Avoid isolated, dark, or otherwise scary areas.
- Avoid shortcuts, and stay on the main street in well-lit areas.
- Plan your entire route and make sure that others know where you’re going to be.
- Always carry a cell phone and a flashlight.
If you’re welcoming trick-or-treaters,
- Turn on your porch lights and any exterior lights to create a welcoming, bright, and safe atmosphere.
- Don’t offer homemade or unwrapped treats.
- Patrol your street occasionally to discourage reckless drivers and mischief-makers.
- If you want to vary your gifts, you could also give out pens, crayons, stickers, and other fun accessories instead of candy.
- Never overload electrical outlets when you’re doing the exterior decorating or lighting.
- Never block exit doors with decorations.
- Opt for artificial lights and candles instead of real flames.
Report any suspicious or criminal activity immediately by calling 911.
Always use common sense.
Err on the side of caution.
Statistical Importance: high
75% of Parents insist upon selecting a costume with safety in mind, while two-thirds (64%) ensure that their child’s shoes are comfortable and fit well, and 37% require use of a flashlight.(1)
Choose colors that are bright and vivid. This tops the list of halloween safety tips that are easy to implement and make a huge difference.
Choose reflective material, or add strips of reflective tape to increase your visibility.
Choose flame-retardant material (polyester or nylon are both good options); the label should say “flame resistant”.
Opt for makeup and hats instead of masks, which can obstruct your peripheral vision.
If you are wearing a mask, make sure you can see properly, that it’s got good ventilation, and that you’re comfortable.
Wear comfortable, safe shoes.
Don’t choose a costume that is cumbersome or vision-impairing.
Test your makeup and costume ahead of time, just to ensure that you aren’t allergic to the formula or the fabric; ensure that your skin doesn’t redden, swell, or becomes otherwise irritated.
Don’t wear decorative contact lenses without the approval of an eye care professional; be sure to follow instructions and get a proper lens fit.
Accessories should be soft, light, and flexible. You don’t need Captain Jack Sparrow’s real sword; we still get the picture.
Statistical Importance: high
24.7 pounds was the per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010. (2)
Inspect candy before eating it, particularly if it comes from an unknown or untrusted source.
Avoid any candy that isn’t commercially wrapped, or anything that looks like it’s been tampered with.
- Throw away anything that looks unusual or suspicious: discoloured, candy with torn wrappers, candy with tiny pinholes, etc.
Avoid juice that hasn’t been pasteurized or processed (most common commercialized products are).
Reduce apple-bobbing bacteria. To reduce dirt, germs, and bacterial, thoroughly rinse all of the apples under cold running water before the game. Investing on a food safety training is one great way in learning and keeping foods safe for everyone to eat.
Carve your pumpkins safely.
- Markers or paint are a safer option for kids; adults should use a carving knife with care.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be far from combustible objects.
- Don’t leave candlelit pumpkins unattended.
- Consider lighting pumpkins with battery-operated (flameless) candles, or use flashlights instead.
Statistical Importance: high
Almost all adults (79%) have talked to their child about Halloween safety while trick-or-treating. In addition, three-fourths (75%) of parents have never let their child trick-or-treat unsupervised without a parent or other adult.(1)
Protect the Children
Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or a responsible older child, and should travel in groups to discourage real-life monsters. In the childcare industry, a childcare training will help your employees develop the skills required in taking care and working with children.
Teach children the essentials of road safety:
- Looking twice before crossing the street,
- Following traffic signals but never relying solely on them
- Staying on the sidewalk or walk facing traffic (to be seen)
Create a map of a safe route and set a time limit if you won’t be accompanying your children.
Encourage trick-or-treating by daylight; at night, make sure they stay on well-lit streets and carry a flashlight.
Select costumes wisely:
- Bright colors to increase visibility
- Flame-retardant fabrics (especially since they’ll be near lit jack-o-lanterns!)
- The right size (no tripping!)
- Appropriate for that day’s (and night’s) temperature.
- Opt for face paint; unlike masks, face paint won’t restrict vision.
Children should eat candy only after it’s been inspected by a trusted adult.
- A snack before going out will help fight the urge to nibble.
- Explain that they should not eat anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
- Watch out for and remove choking hazards (gum, small toys, peanuts, hard candies, etc.)
Browse your local state website for sex offenders; almost every state has at least one.
- Look up your zip code and see if there’s a list of registered offenders.
- That list should include addresses—keep your family well away from those houses.
Teach kids to stay alert for suspicious activity and to report it immediately to a trusted adult or to the authorities.
Ensure that your kids follow these life-saving rules:
- Never enter a stranger’s house.
- Never to accept rides from strangers.
- Never to take shortcuts through backyard, alleys, or parks.
- Always stay with the group and a trusted adult.
Unfortunately, Halloween is also a prime Child Predator night.Teach kids how to react if anyone tries to take them: to draw attention to themselves by yelling “this person is trying to take me” or “this person is not my parent”, and to resist and try to escape at all costs.
Statistical Importance: low
In 2010, 9% of dog owners bought a Halloween costume for their dog.(3)
Don’t leave your pet outdoors and unattended tonight. It’s the night of tricks and pranks, and you need to keep it safe.
Don’t feed your pet candy. Chocolate equals poison for most animals; candy wrappers and foil are as bad for your pet as they are for you.
If you dress up your pet, make sure the costume is comfortable and safe. Above all, make sure your pet doesn’t find it disagreeable.
Keep your pet away from fire; a curious pet might burn itself—or your house—after an encounter with a lit pumpkin.
Keep your pet away from trick-or-treaters. The dog might scare the children, or weirdly-dressed strangers might scare the dog.
Statistical Importance: HIGH
More than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle incidents on Halloween between 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm as compared to the same hours on other days throughout the year. (1)
Tips for Motorists
Expect more pedestrians. Halloween is the time when children take to the streets, more than ever. You must take extra care!
Drive slowly and well below the speed limit, especially in residential areas which are likely to be filled with trick-or-treaters.
- The faster you go, the harder it is to brake your car, and the less likely you are to spot a child pedestrian.
Stay alert and don’t give in to distractions (changing the CD, taking a phone call, arguing with your passengers). Keep your eyes and mind on the road.
Pay extra attention at crosswalks, corners, and intersections. Kids tend to be careless, and remember that some of them may even have masks obscuring their vision!
If you’re dropping off or picking up company, turn on your hazard lights and pull off to the side to alert other drivers and pedestrians.
Be very careful when starting the car, parking, or backing up— make sure there are no children behind or around your car.
Avoid driving during Halloween, if you can help it.
---- Halloween Safety Tips: Sources ----
- (1) Halloween Safety: A National Survey of Parents’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors, page 2 by Safekids.org
- (2) Halloween, page 3 by Census.gov
- (3) Halloween Dog Party is a howl
- (4) Halloween safety by Safe Kids
- (6) Halloween Safety: A National Survey of Parents’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors by safekids.org