As one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, Halloween can be lots of fun for people of all ages.
But with everyone out and about, things can get dangerous pretty fast. Whether you’re taking the kids trick-or-treating, going out, or planning a party of your own, the following safety tips can help make sure your Halloween stays safe and fun.
Trick or Treat
If you’re taking the kids trick-or-treating, follow these tips about costumes, pedestrian safety, and candy consumption.
It can get dark on Halloween, so the best costumes allow your kids to see and be seen. We recommend:
- Adding reflective tape to costumes or candy buckets.
- Walking around with flashlights so you can see the streets.
- For a fun twist, use glow sticks, battery-powered string lights, or glow-in-the-dark paint as part of your costumes.
- Make sure costumes fit well so your child can see and walk easily.
- If your child’s costume includes a prop, like a toy sword, make sure it’s soft and bendy to avoid injuries.
Around the Neighborhood
Make sure your kids know how to stay safe when they’re out trick-or-treating.
- Be sure your children know not to cross the street or walk in front of vehicles.
- Tell them to stay on the sidewalk and stay in a group.
- Before you leave, review 911 safety steps.
- Make sure your kids know not to enter any stranger’s houses or cars.
- As a parent, assume that drivers can’t see you. Wait to cross the street until you know it’s safe.
- Stay off your phone, and always watch your kids.
- Only go to houses that have their porch lights on.
While candy rarely gets tampered with, it is still wise to follow these rules:
- Make sure your kids know not to eat candy that’s been unwrapped.
- Make sure they know not to eat homemade treats from people they don’t know.
- Check the ingredients of candy so your child’s allergies don’t flare up.
If you have older kids, make sure they are staying safe with their friends.
- If your kids are old enough to go out by themselves, make sure they leave the house with a fully-charged phone.
- Be sure you know where they’re going, who they’re going with, and when they’ll be back.
- Make sure their costume doesn’t include anything that might look like a real weapon, such as a pistol or rifle. Even a toy gun with an orange tip can look real in the dark, which could get them in trouble with the police.
- If your teen is new at driving, it might not be safe for them to be on the roads. Consider dropping them off or setting up a carpool.
Going to a Party
If you’re going to a party on Halloween, keep these tips in mind.
- Make sure your phone is on and fully charged before you leave.
- Be sure to pick out a costume that you can move and see in. Restrictive costumes can make it hard to cross streets or navigate places with strangers safely.
- Go with a buddy! Bringing a friend or two makes parties all the more fun, plus you have someone looking out for you.
- If you’re going alone, tell a friend where you’ll be and when you’ll be back.
- Carry some cash for emergency money. If your card is declined or your phone is dead, having cash on hand can help you get out of a sticky situation.
- Watch your drink.
- Don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know.
- Keep an eye on how much you’re drinking. Have lots of snacks and stay hydrated to help slow your alcohol intake.
- Make sure you know how you’re getting home. If you’re drinking, appoint a designated driver or take an Uber.
- If your home is far away, consider staying in a nearby hotel. You could even stay at your host’s house if you know them well.
Driving on Halloween
Be safe if you’re out driving on Halloween.
- Watch out for trick or treaters and observe the speed limit.
- Be mindful that you might not see everyone. People wear dark costumes and walk places they might not usually be on Halloween, so it never hurts to be extra safe.
- Be careful when pulling out of your driveway or driving through alleyways.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- If you’re drinking, consider taking a taxi or public transportation.
- If you’re going in a group, appoint a designated driver.
- If your friends are drinking, consider taking one for the team by being the designated driver.
Hosting a Party
If you’re hosting a party, use these tips to help everyone have a good time.
- When you’re decorating, don’t use candles or open flames.
- Don’t use any flammable decorations. Common flammable items include styrofoam and some types of stretchable spider webs.
- Don’t plug too many electrical cords into one outlet.
- Put away anything valuable or easy to break.
Be Aware of Your Guest’s Alcohol Intake
While you might not want to throw a Halloween party without the boos, it’s important to make sure your guests stay safe.
- Don’t let any of your guests drive drunk.
- Have information on taxi services available so you can call them a ride.
- Consider allowing guests to stay overnight.
- Serve non-alcoholic drinks and put out plenty of snacks.
- Hire a bartender. A designated server can help to watch that no one goes over their limit.
- Know how much you’re serving.
- If you serve beverages that have a single serving of alcohol, your guests can know how much they’re drinking.
- Avoid serving doubles or drinks with unknown alcohol content.
- If you’re getting ready for trick-or-treaters, check for tripping hazards on your porch.
- Make sure your walkway is clean and well-lit.
- Restrain your pets so they don’t accidentally hurt someone.
- Avoid using candles in your jack-o-lanterns. Instead, try using glow sticks or LED candles.
If all of this sounds exhausting, you can always have a relaxing night in!
- If you decide to stay home, make sure to turn off your porch light and extinguish any candles.
- Watch some scary movies, have some treats, and go to bed early—you’ve earned it!