Halloween Safety Tips to Maximize Your Holiday Fun
Halloween is a magical time for kids (and adults). It’s a chance to wear a fun costume, collect candy, and bob for apples! However, Halloween doesn’t come without risk, and we wanted to offer these Halloween Safety Tips to help you and your loved ones celebrate safely this season.
A 2021 study found that 18% of those killed in fatal crashes on Halloween are children, and pedestrians have a 50% higher chance of being fatally injured. In addition, older children are three times as likely to be fatally injured on October 31st.
Car accidents are the number one cause of injury on Halloween night due to lack of visibility. It’s dark; many people—including young children—are out trick-or-treating and exploring the neighborhood, and some costumes (like a black-cloaked vampire) are hard to see at night. We’ll talk more about safe costumes later!
So, how do you stay safe? If your trick-or-treating group includes young children, explain basic traffic safety before leaving your home. Yes, some of it might go over their head, but it never hurts to stress the importance of using caution when approaching the road.
Never let young children trick-or-treat alone. Instead, assign a designated buddy—a responsible older sibling, parent, or other trusted adult—and then keep a close watch on the child. Halloween is exciting, and there’s a chance they might get caught up in the moment and run.
Costumes are the second-best aspect of Halloween night—after the candy. A safe Halloween costume could make or break your night!
When you choose a costume, be sure it’s fire retardant—including all pieces and accessories. A flame-retardant costume is critical if you’ll be carving jack-o-lanterns and using real candles (more on that later!)
Since you’ll likely be out after dark when trick-or-treating, we recommend bright, reflective costumes, OR you can add strips of reflective tape. Glow sticks also work if you don’t want to ruin the outfit. The main goal is to make your child as visible as possible to vehicles in the area.
When choosing a costume, ensure it does not impede your motion or vision. Yes, cool costumes are fun, but Halloween safety is more important! For example, avoid tripping hazards by hemming a costume if it is too long. In addition, some experts suggest avoiding masks as they can hinder a child’s vision, increasing the risk of injury.
Facepaint could be an excellent alternative to character masks; however, it is critical to use non-toxic makeup. Test it on a small skin area before placing it on the face to ensure it will not cause a reaction. Just remember to wash it off at the end of the night to prevent irritation and staining on the skin.
Whether your kids are old enough to trick-or-treat independently or still need supervision, prepare a plan and create a route before embarking.
For older kids, map out the route they will follow so you can locate them if necessary. Ensure that everyone in your group has a fully charged and easily accessible cell phone, so you can contact each other if necessary.
Agree on a specific time when your child should return home, and be sure that the older kids stay together. Review what to do if they are approached by a stranger or get lost.
For younger kids, agree on a plan if you get separated. Stick close to home, so your child is familiar with the surroundings in case they are lost. Review stranger danger in this case as well.
Of course, no matter your child’s age, emphasize the importance of watching for cars when crossing the street. In addition, please remind your child NOT to look at their phone while walking so they can be aware of vehicle traffic.
Candy and Halloween Safety
The fear of candy laced with drugs or razor blades is one that many parents have. While the risk of this happening is unlikely, checking your kids’ candy haul never hurts before letting them eat any pieces.
If you see any unwrapped candy, dispose of it right away. The wrapper might have come loose while trick-or-treating, but better safe than sorry. Keep an eye out for torn wrappers, discoloration, or signs of tampering, and check expiration dates. Dispose of any candy that does not pass your examination.
Trick-or-treating in a group? Be aware of food sensitivities and allergies—especially when young children are present. They might get too caught up in the excitement and forget to confirm a treat is safe! Remove any candy that could cause a reaction and dispose of it properly.
Be aware of choking hazards. Younger kids should not have access to small pieces of candy, hard candies, or gum because they could be choking hazards. Separate these and store them out of reach.
If carving a jack-o-lantern is on your holiday bucket list, always supervise any children present. Please stay in the room and ensure they understand how to hold the knife or other tool. Younger children can scoop out the pumpkin insides but should not be allowed to use sharp instruments. Taking a trip to the emergency room to get stitches might ruin your holiday fun!
When there are jack-o-lanterns with flames inside, there’s the risk of a costume catching fire. Consider LED candles instead of the real thing to reduce the risk of fire and burns.
Stay Safe Out There
We hope these Halloween safety tips help you safely maximize your holiday fun! Use the above suggestions to create a plan for each person’s role and responsibilities for the evening.
Before you go, check out how our personal insurance options can keep your entire family covered, just in case something happens.