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Trick or Treat Safety Tips

Updated on September 5, 2014
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Safety Tips For Halloween

Trick-or-Treating is a fun tradition that kids all over the US and a few other countries participate in on Halloween night. Kids enjoy dressing up in various costumes and going door to door looking for candy while loudly asking "Trick or Treat?"

But, it's important for parents to make sure that their children are safe when they are trick-or-treating. Here you will find some tips for keeping your kids safe this Halloween.

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Check the Curfew Times

Many towns set specified trick-or-treat times so that people at home know when to expect children at their door.

Be sure to check the times your town has set for trick-or-treating and stick to those times. People at home will not appreciate late callers after a night of handing out treats. Kids can also get into trouble if they're out past curfew.

In addition, Halloween parties for adults at bars and private homes make the roads much more dangerous on Halloween, especially as it gets later.

Check For Porch Lights

It is customary for people who want to welcome trick-or-treaters to leave their porch light on. If a house does not have the porch light on you should respect their privacy and skip that house.

Make sure you can be seen
Make sure you can be seen | Source

Make Sure You Can Be Seen

Carry a Flashlight or Glow Stick

Wear Something Reflective

Taking these simple steps can help ensure that your child is seen by passing motorists.

Carrying a flashlight can also help a child navigate dark staircases or corners and help prevent trips and falls.

Halloween Flashlight

A great flashlight for Halloween safety which is also a lot of fun! Includes 8 spooky sound effects and 4 color filters.

Children Should Not Go Alone

Children should always go trick-or-treating with an adult. Even the most responsible child can forget the safety rules when they get caught up in the excitement of Halloween. If there is a group of kids going choose one or two adults to go with the group and keep an eye on things.

Older kids may want to go alone with friends, whether or not you let them is your decision as a parent. Kids who do go alone should be made well aware of the safety precautions, should tell their parents where they will be and check in often.

Halloween Costumes
Halloween Costumes | Source

Is Your Costume Safe?

Make sure that your child can easily see through any eye holes on a mask. The mask should be easy to pull off and on so a kid can lift it up while walking and pull it down again before knocking at a door.

Wear comfortable shoes. High heels, large boots and furry, animal "feet" may look cute with the costume but they do not make for a happy trick or treat experience. Well fitting sneakers usually work best.

Costumes should be flame retardant. Halloween night is full of lit pumpkins and candles and it's not hard for a loose cape or skirt to get caught in the flames.

Avoid costumes that drag on the ground. Costumes that drag can get caught on things or trip up little feet. This could cause the child to fall.

Consider the weather in your area. In cold areas it may be a good idea to get a costume that is a size too big so that a warm jacket or sweater can be worn under the costume.

Props (especially knives, swords and other weapons) should be flexible and soft that a child can't hurt himself or someone else if he happens to fall or swings out with the prop.

Black Cats are not evil or bad luck. Treat them kindly!
Black Cats are not evil or bad luck. Treat them kindly! | Source

Beware of Animals

Do not pet strange animals when trick-or-treating.

While it's never a good idea to approach a strange animal, this is especially true on Halloween.

Costumes, strange lights and the increased activity can upset even the friendliest pets and cause them to act out of character.

Unfortunately, Halloween can be a very dangerous time for animals since some people think that fun tricks include hurting animals. Cats are especially in danger this time of year due to the urban legends surrounding them and their connection with witches.

If you own a dog or cat be sure to keep them indoors on Halloween. Dogs should only be let out in a fenced yard and should not be left unattended for hours on end.

Remember Stranger Danger

Remind your child that it is never okay to enter a stranger's home. Trick-or-Treaters should stay on the porch at all times, even if the person has to go to retrieve more candy.

Some people host "haunted houses" and invite children inside to see their spooky decorations. In this case, an adult should accompany the child into the house. Never let your kid go into a stranger's house without you.

Be Sure To Obey Traffic Laws
Be Sure To Obey Traffic Laws | Source

Traffic Safety

Walk, don't run.

Do not allow your kids to get too far ahead of you. An excited child may accidentally end up in the street.

Stay on the sidewalk. Do not walk in the street.

Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations. Stop at roads look both ways before crossing. Obey any traffic signals and use crosswalks.

Check the candy
Check the candy | Source

Check the Candy

Many of the stories of razor blades in popcorn balls are urban legends. However, it's still important to check your child's candy before she eats it. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we often just can't trust strangers. It's just not worth the risk.

Throw out any candy or treats that are not wrapped. Home made treats may look great but could contain deadly secrets.

Plus, by going through your child's candy before they do, you get first dibs on all of the best stuff! ;)

Safe Halloween Decorations
Safe Halloween Decorations | Source

Make Your Home Safe

If you're welcoming trick or treaters to your home on Halloween, you want to make sure that your decorations do not pose a safety hazard. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and welcoming for children on Halloween!

Keep your porch or front entry way well lit. Having your porch light on is a sign to trick or treaters that they are welcome at your home. But, it also allows visitors to clearly see where they are going.

Keep a clear path to the door. Do not place decorations in place where people may easily trip on them. Make sure your sidewalk and porch are swept clean of leaves.

Watch your pets. Some animals may get very nervous about so many people at the door and some kids are afraid of animals. Make sure your pets are safely indoors and if they are easily excitable, put them in a quiet room during trick or treat hours.

Only give out candy that is individually wrapped by the manufacturer. Loose M&Ms or other unwrapped treats are a big no no and will likely get thrown away when the children get home. If candy's not your thing you could also give out Halloween pencils, erasers or other small toys.

Don't scare away the little kids! Small children are often frightened of masks, if you want to have an enjoyable evening you'd be better off leaving the masks off. Wear a costume that doesn't require a mask or you could wear a funny hat or Halloween sweater if you want to dress for the festivities.

If you take a few steps to make sure that your home is safe and welcoming for trick or treaters, you will guarantee a fun experience for yourself and the children knocking on your door!

More Safety Tips?

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    • Sarah Switalski profile image
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      Sarah Switalski 2 years ago from Iowa

      OhMe - I was one of the kids whose parents always followed her around even though a lot of the kids went door to door alone. My mom said she just wanted to enjoy the night with us but later told me she was scared of what might happen to us alone in the dark. I do have lots of fond memories of trick-or-treating with mom and dad in tow though! Trunk or Treats are fun too! My daughter's school is having one this year that sounds like it will be a blast!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great tips for a safe Halloween. I think it is sad that we have to be so concerned for children's safety these days. When I was a child we walked all over town by ourselves to Trick or Treat but I sure wouldn't let one do it now. Fortunately, there are lots of Trunk or Treat events in our little town.