Tips and Tricks for a Safe Halloween

  • Educate Your Kids

    No matter how old your kids are, it can’t hurt to talk to them about Halloween safety. Here are some good tools to get the conversation started: McGruff (yup, the crime dog) makes Halloween safety kits that can be purchased individually ($2.50) or in bulk (price vary).  The kits include safety tips for kids, games and quizzes.  McGruff also offers reflective Halloween bags. Check out Halloween Magazine’s safety game for kids.  This is a great online game that you can play with your kids to teach them about Halloween safety. Photo Credit: E. Bartholomew
    Accident-Proof Costumes
  • Accident-Proof Costumes

    Costumes that are too long are a tripping hazard.  If your child’s costume drags on the ground, try shortening it by hemming or trimming. Also make sure the costume is made with flame-resistant fabric. If your child will be wearing a mask, have him/her try it on and examine it closely to make sure they can see well and breathe freely.  If there is an obstruction, make the necessary adjustments by trimming the mask. Swords, knives or other props should be toys, and toys only. They should be bendable with dull tips. Also, don't forget to check the weather. If you live in a cold climate, make sure the costume you have chosen will accommodate layering. On trick or treating day, see what the low temp will be and dress your child accordingly. Photo Credit: Doctor Panelstein
    Accident-Proof Makeup
  • Accident-Proof Makeup

    A representative from the Plastics Make it Possible campaign says that “children’s skin and eyes are far more sensitive than their hair, fingernails, or toenails, so be sure any makeup used is meant to be applied to the skin, and certainly follow the directions.” Even if you are trick or treating with your child, “[their] name, home address, and telephone number should be accessible, either in the Halloween costume itself or on a bracelet. While this information must be easy to find in an emergency situation, it shouldn’t be visible to casual observers," advises the representative from Plastics Make it Possible, an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council. Photo Credit: wmshc_kiwi
    Light the Way
  • Light the Way

    Help others see your child by lighting the way with a flashlight. I like ICON’s Link, which is portable, lightweight and has a carabiner that allows it to be clipped almost anywhere. The Link is available in a cool orange color (perfect for Halloween!) and its high-beam light setting gives off 50 lumens of light for navigability in the dark. Its compact body is sealed with O-rings, making it waterproof. Howler Brands offer a whole selection of light options for trick or treating, from light sabers to bracelets that light up. Prices vary. If your child is wearing a dark colored costume, consider affixing reflector tape to it, should the lighting on the street be insufficient. has 12 colors to choose from! Photo Credit: cynthiacloskey
    Solo Trick or Treating
  • Solo Trick or Treating

    If your child is mature enough to trick or treat without you, a representative from the Plastics Make it Possible campaign says “getting your child to carry a mobile phone shouldn’t be too difficult. The phone should carry your home number, as well as numbers for backup contacts and emergency personnel.” Ask them to stay on the sidewalk whenever possible, and use crosswalks.  Also, designate a time for them to be home and make sure the time is visible on the cell phone they are carrying or that they are wearing a watch that lights up. You can also set an alarm that lets them know when to head back. Before your child leaves, sit down with them and map out a route – make it fun by creating a treasure map, and set aside a small gift for them when they arrive home on time. Photo Credit: edenpictures
    When They Get Home
  • When They Get Home

    Be sure to sanitize their hands when they arrive home. Bath & Body Works makes Pocket Bac’s travel-sized hand sanitizers in festive scents like Vampire Blood and Candy Corn ($1.50) for a quick cleaning. And matching glow-in-the-dark holders ($0.50) make the Pocket Bac’s portable, so they can be used in between house visits. BBW also makes hand soaps with spooky glow in the dark labels (a favorite in our house!) in yummy scents ($5). Despite the rumors we’ve heard throughout the years, candy tampering is rare. To be safe, make sure your kids wait to eat their Halloween spoils until they are home and you can give them a once over. Toss anything in a ripped wrapper, and if your child has allergies to ingredients commonly found in candy, like peanuts, bring along your Epi-Pen in case your child tries to sneak a treat! Photo Credit: Vanessa Yvonne
    Manning the Door
  • Manning the Door

    Make sure the exterior of your home is well lit, and avoid jack o’ lanterns with real flames. Clear away anything that might be a tripping hazard, like garden tools, hoses, etc. If you are not comfortable giving away junk food, there are plenty of non-food alternatives that kids will still love: Stickers, temporary tattoos, themed erasers and pencils are some fun options. There are healthy food options as well, but I would recommend purchasing individually wrapped healthy snacks at your local health food store. Resist the temptation to bake healthy treats, because regardless of your good intentions, most parents will nix anything homemade. Photo Credit: Juushika Redgrave
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