How to Keep Your Family Safe on Halloween

Filled with creative costumes, delicious candy, and delightful scares, Halloween is a fun time for everyone involved. To keep all of the tricks out of trick-or-treating, follow these guidelines for keeping your family safe on Halloween.

Design Costumes with Safety in Mind

When making costumes for your kids, you don’t have to choose between creativity and safety. These elements of a great Halloween costume can go hand-in-hand. Consider the following tips when making or purchasing their costumes:

  • Don’t cover their faces. If your child insists on wearing Captain Marvel’s mask for Halloween, offer to paint their face as an alternative. Face masks can obstruct children’s vision and make it difficult for them to safely navigate their neighborhood. Implement your artistic skills with makeup or non-toxic face paint instead.
  • Prevent slips, trips, and falls. Avoid long wigs, oversized shoes, and bulky props when planning your kids’ costumes. These can all be safety hazards and ruin a fun night of trick-or-treating.
  • Stick with light colors. When possible, choose a light color for their costume. If your child wants to be a burglar dressed in all black, add reflective tape to their costume and their trick-or-treat bag. Have them carry a flashlight or glow stick. One of these light devices will make them more visible to others.

Establish Guidelines

Though Halloween is a night for fun and independence, it shouldn’t come and go without safety guidelines in place. Talk with your older children about following these safety tips:

  • Always carry a cellphone.
  • Follow a planned route that you know about.
  • Never enter strangers’ houses or cars.
  • Only go to houses with their porch lights on.
  • Stay with a group of siblings and friends.

Kids under the age of 12 should always be accompanied by an adult. Teach them your cellphone number and how to call 911 in case they get separated from you.

Don’t Forget About Your Pets

Your pets are part of the family too! Don’t exclude your furry friends when implementing a safety plan for this holiday. Here’s how to keep your pet safe on Halloween:

  • Keep the candy bowl out of reach. Keep all candy away from your pets. Candy containing chocolate or xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener, can be harmful to animals, especially smaller cats and dogs.
  • Keep pets indoors. If you leave your pet in the yard, curious children can tease your pet. Teenagers with malicious intent may injure, steal, or otherwise harm a pet left unattended. It’s best to keep your furry friend indoors for Halloween. If they are especially nervous, keep them in a separate room during trick-or-treating hours. Your front door will be constantly opening and closing so it’s safer for them. If you want them to help you with the trick or treaters perhaps keep them on a lead when getting the door so they aren’t tempted to run out.
  • Don’t be too extravagant with their costumes. If you want to dress up your pet, eliminate any choking hazards and don’t limit their mobility. Watch their body language and remove it if they’re uncomfortable.

Have Fun and Be Safe!

While your family’s safety is a priority, you can also take steps to be a considerate neighbor and citizen on Halloween night. If you plan on driving your kids to different spots to maximize their candy intake, practice these tips for being a mindful driver:

  • Drive slow. Drive slower than normal, especially in residential neighborhoods. These areas are full of excitable children, so they may cross streets unexpectedly.
  • Be on the lookout. Take a few extra seconds to look for kids on medians and curbs and at intersections. Enter and exit hidden spaces (like alleys and driveways) with caution.
  • Minimize distractions. Keep your phone and other potential distractions out of reach as you drive. This way, you can focus on your surroundings.