October 11, 2019

Along with having fun, don’t forget these Halloween safety tips for the big night.


Now that my kids are in college, I miss the experience of going shopping and seeing the glee on their faces when they find their ultimate costumes. Even the stress of wondering, should we get a warm costume just in case the temperatures drops? —  and making sure that they eat well before they head out for the night.

I do, however, think this s a great time to remind ourselves of some important Halloween safety tips to keep in mind as we help plan for this exciting evening.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, the risk of kids being hit by a car is higher on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Make sure you remind your child to:

  • Walk on sidewalks on lit streets (never through alleys or across lawns).
  • Walk from house to house (never run) and always walk facing traffic when walking on roads.
  • Cross the street at crosswalks and never assume that vehicles will stop.


Dressing your little ghouls and goblins

  • To prevent falls, avoid oversized and high-heeled shoes. Make sure the rest of the costume fits well, too.
  • Choose a light-colored costume that’s easy to see at night. Add reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark tape to the costume and to the trick-or-treat bag.
  • Only buy costumes labeled “flame-retardant.” This means the material won’t burn. If you make your own costume, use nylon or polyester materials, which are flame-retardant.
  • Masks can make it hard for kids to see and breathe. Instead, try using non-toxic face paint or makeup. Don’t use colored or decorative contact lenses, unless they’re prescribed by a licensed eye doctor.
  • Make sure that any props your kids carry, such as wands or swords, are short and flexible.


Trick-or-treating basics

Kids under age 12 should:

  • Make sure they go trick-or-treating with an adult and know how to call 911 in case they get lost.
  • Make sure they know your home phone number or your cellphone number.

For older kids:

  • Have them share their planned routes and when they’ll be coming home.
  • Check to make sure they carry cellphones, go in groups and stay together.
  • Remind them to only go to houses with porch lights on and stay away from candles and other flames.
  • Give kids flashlights with fresh batteries. Kids may also enjoy wearing glow sticks as bracelets or necklaces.
  • Limit trick-or-treating to your neighborhood and the homes of people you know.

When kids get home:

  • Help them check all treats to make sure they’re sealed. Throw out candy with torn packages or holes in the packages, spoiled items and any homemade treats that weren’t made by someone you know.
  • Don’t let young children have hard candy or gum that could cause choking.


Are there any other Halloween safety tips that you would like to share with other parents? Please add them in the comments below.


Purnima Unni is the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and is a certified child passenger safety technician.  She is a wife and mother of two girls. She loves to cook, travel and watch murder mysteries. She is fluent in three languages and wishes she had a green thumb.