Halloween Safety Tips

The following lists of Halloween safety tips are not to scare you from going trick or treating. They are here because we all want our TOT'ers to have a safe and memorable Halloween.

What a great holiday! You get to dress up in a really cool costume. Go door to door, begging for candy. Go home and gorge yourself in candy heaven! Ah, what a great tradition!

Just because trick or treating is not what it used to be doesn't mean that it still can't make great memories providing that we follow a few basic Halloween safety rules.

Make this holiday a fun, safe, and happy time for your kids with these Halloween safety tips and they'll carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!

Trick or Treating Safety Tips
Halloween Costume Safety Tips
Halloween Candy Safety
Safety Tips for Parents
Safety Tips for Adults

Trick or Treating Safety Tips

Remember the following Halloween safety tips for trick or treating.

Make sure all the TOT'ers and their escorts have flashlights. Flashlights will help you see better and to be more visible to cars and others. Make sure you have fresh batteries. Flashlights will help you see items in your path when walking on the sidewalk. Flashlights will help in locating items if you drop them. Other great alternatives to flashlights are glowsticks and reflective tape on costumes and trick or treat bags. Carry cell phones or coins for telephones so you can call home if needed. Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.

Plan your route and communicate with your group where you are going. Establish a beginning, middle and end point in case any members of the group get lost.

Stay in familiar neighborhoods. Only go to houses that have the outside lights on. Do NOT enter homes or apartments unless you are accompanied by an adult. Stay in well lighted areas. Don't cut through back alleys and fields. Stay in populated places and don't go off the beaten track. TOT'ers should stay together as a group if going out without an adult. Stay away from and don't pet animals that you don't know.

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. All TOT'ers should walk, don't run from house to house. Don't cut across yards or lawns. There may be Halloween props and wires where you could trip and get hurt.  Don't walk in the middle of the street.  Stay on the sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. Obey traffic and pedestrian signals . Don't hide or run out from between parked cars. NEVER get into a stranger's car. Cross only at street corners. Look both ways before crossing the street. Don't assume the right of way. Just because one car stops doesn't mean the next one will.

Remove any mask or item that will limit your eyesight before crossing the street or while walking from house to house. Wear a watch you can read in the dark. Keep away from open fires and candles (costumes can be extremely flammable).

Halloween Costume Safety Tips

Here's some great Halloween safety tips for costumes to make it a very safe Halloween.

Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright to be clearly visible to motorists. Use reflective tape that will glow in a light beam as costume trim and decorations. Reflective tape is usually available in Walmart, Target, hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.

When purchasing costumes and accessories, look for the label flame resistant or fire retardant. This label does not guarantee that the costumes won't catch fire but they will resist from burning and be able to extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with jack o'lantern flames and other candles, avoid big, billowy costumes. Costumes should be loose enough so that warm clothing can be worn underneath. Review with your children the principle of "Stop-Drop-Roll", should their clothes catch on fire.

Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.  Knives, swords, scythes, pitchforks or other costume props should be soft and flexible enough should they trip and fall on them.

Avoid oversized shoes, high heels and long skirts or pants that could cause a child to trip and fall. Shoes should fit or stay secure on the foot.

The eye holes in masks should be large enough for good peripheral vision. Make sure that the mask does restrict breathing. Parents should try on the mask themselves. If it's uncomfortable or heavy on the face, chances are your child won't want to wear the mask either. Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.

If a child wears makeup, parents should look for non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup kits. Check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives," "Laboratory Tested," "Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic." Follow manufacturer's instruction for application.

An extra special Halloween safety tip is to secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet in case the younger ones get separated from their group.

Halloween Candy Safety

Children shouldn't snack while they're trick-or-treating. Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering. Though tampering is rare, closely look for signs of tampering such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages. Throw away any spoiled or suspicious items.

Parents of small children should get rid of choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

The best Halloween safety tip for candy is "when in doubt, throw it out".

Safety Tips for Parents

Who would ever think of serving your kids a filling meal before they go trick or treating as a good Halloween safety tip. You'll have a better chance of them bringing it home for you to inspect.

Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult. If you can't take them, see if another parent or a teen aged sibling can go along. You should know the route of where they're going.

Older children should know where to reach you. Set a time limit of when they should be home. Make sure they know the importance of being home on time.

Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism. Make sure they understand to not destroy other people's property. This could ruin Halloween for you and others. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess and pay for any damages themselves.

Explain to your kids that animal cruelty is not acceptable. Kids may know this on their own but peer pressure can be a bad thing. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.

Reinforce to your kids basic everyday Halloween safety tips such as, not getting into cars, talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets, crossing when the lights tell you to.

Watch how much candy they eat when they get home. Too much can lead to stomach aches and indigestion. They will probably pretty wired on the "sugar fix" and not want to go to bed.

Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.

Let your child have some say in their costume, within reason of course. Some clothing may be great inside at a party, but use common sense when they are outside in fall air (and in some areas, winter weather).

Safety Tips for Adults

All adults whether they have trick or treaters or not should also follow these Halloween safety tips.

Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian TOT's.

Remind all household drivers to drive slowly throughout the neighborhood. Watch for children in the street, darting between parked cars, and on medians. Exit driveways and alleyways carefully. Watch for children in dark clothing. Children are likely to choose the shortest route rather then the safest.

Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch, steps, and walkway. Check around your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, garden hoses, toys or bikes that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.

Remember Halloween safety tips can be for your pets as well. Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags in case they get out of the house or yard.

Consider fire safety when decorating. Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept well away from porches and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Battery powered jack o'lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.

If using inflatable lawn decorations, place them off the walkway leading to your front door. Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

I know that this is a pretty hefty Halloween safety tips list.

But it's our trick or treaters. Let's keep them safe!

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