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How to help kids have a safe and spooktacular Halloween.

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Halloween is a time to have fun, but it’s also a time to stress the importance of safety. Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other night of the year. There’s also an increased risk of falls, cuts and burns. And of course, you want to make sure your child is safe from people who may be lurking around and who are up to no good.

Before you send your ghosts and goblins off for an evening of collecting treats and having fun, keep these safety tips in mind:

      1. Get in on the fun. Kids younger than 12 should be accompanied by an adult.
      2. Be part of a group. If kids are out without adult supervision, insist they stay in groups. Remind them that it’s important to make sure everyone is accounted for at all times.
      3. Stress street safety. Make sure kids know to cross at the corner and wait until they have the right of way. Teach them to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they’re seen. Also tell them to keep their heads up and to pay attention to what they’re doing when crossing the street.
      4. Walk, don’t run. Halloween can be an exciting night for kids, but they’re more likely to end the night early due to a fall if they’re running. They’ll have plenty of time to get where they want to go by walking and will get there more safely.
      5. Don’t go into houses. Tell kids to never go inside a house or near a car they don’t know.
      6. Stick to familiar areas. Kids should only go out in areas they are familiar with and should stay in areas that are well-lit and well-populated.
      7. Be seen. If kids are out trick-or-treating after dark, it’s important they be easily seen. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape and have them carry a flashlight, flashing light or glow sticks.
      8. Avoid masks. Wearing a mask can obstruct a child’s vision. Instead, use non-toxic makeup or face paint.
      9. Shorten costumes. When costumes are too long or too big, they pose a tripping hazard.
      10. Skip the accessories. Carrying props like swords and wands can be a hazard due to their pointed edges. Nix any accessories that can be mistaken for weapons, such as guns or knives.
      11. Set ground rules. If kids will be out alone, let them know your expectations and rules. Set a curfew, make sure they have a cell phone and review safety tips.
      12. Inspect treats. Don’t let kids eat treats until you’ve had a chance to look through and discard anything that is not sealed or looks questionable.

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Date Last Reviewed: August 3, 2022

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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