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15 Halloween Safety Tips You Need to Know Before You Take Your Kids Trick or Treating

Can you believe Halloween is NEXT WEEK?! The month of October has gone by so quickly. My kids are excited for Halloween and they can’t wait to go out trick or treating. We’re still searching for the perfect costume for the kids.

Meanwhile, Travis and I are creating our own DIY couples’ Halloween costumes this year. We plan on dressing up with the kids to make their trick or treating night extra sweet. 

RELATED: 40 Gender-Neutral Halloween Costumes for Kids

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), it’s estimated more than 41 million children will be out trick or treating across the country! That’s a lot of kids out and about in neighborhoods and visiting businesses for sweet treats. That’s why it’s so important for us parents to remember safety tips to keep our precious ones out of harms way.

“Emergency departments do typically see an uptick in visits on Halloween,” said Vidor Friedman, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP.

“Some of the most common injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, or hand lacerations from pumpkin carving mishaps. Taking the appropriate precautions will help you make sure that your child gets treats from friends and neighbors, not treatment in the emergency department.”

Here are a few tips the ACEP recommend:

Photo credit: Mel Poole

TRICK OR TREATING

Children shouldn’t walk alone in the dark. Try to go as a group, in a familiar neighborhood, with at least one adult chaperone. Seek organized festivities, like schools or churches, if you are able. 

When we go trick or treating, we like to take the kids in our neighborhood. It’s an area we are the most familiar with and the neighbors are always very welcoming. They love trick or treaters! 

You can also find many businesses and local churches who will have Halloween events for families. Truck or Treat events are also a great way to keep the kids safe and have fun.

Bring flashlights. Visibility is important even at dusk, and it’s especially important to remain visible to cars. 

Adding on to that, also have a reflector vest. Sometimes motorists do not adhere to the speed limit, or children are hard to see in the dark, especially little ones.

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Stay on the sidewalks when walking at night. If you must cross the street, obey all traffic signals. Also, make sure you hold hands with your child or if you’re going as a group, have the kids pick a buddy to hold hands. This will help keep everyone together while trick or treating.

Discuss how to interact with strangers. This tip is very important for keeping children safe on Halloween night. It’s best to have a chaperone take your children trick or treating if you are not able to go. Have a relative or close family friend take your child out.

As a general rule, don’t go to houses that have the porch light off. This is usually an indicator that the neighbor is not handing out candy. Some neighbors will sit outside of their home to give out candy, especially if they have spooky decorations up. Just make sure you let your kids know how to tell the difference between the two.

Also, it’s important you let your child know to never accept rides from people they don’t know. If a stranger asks them to get in their vehicle, then the child should immediately leave the location and ask for help. 

Photo credit: Raw Pixel

CANDY

Avoid candy that is not wrapped in its original wrapper. You never know if the candy has been tampered with or is not fresh. Also, avoid baked goods from people you do not know. I love homemade desserts, but unfortunately, you have to be very cautious. It’s best to stick with treats that have its original wrapper and comes directly from the store.

Don’t eat too much candy! I know the sweets are hard to resist, but it’s important to keep teeth healthy. Children can also get sick from over-eating candy. This means you, too, Mom and Dad!

Pay attention to labels. The Emergency Physicians have discovered edible marijuana and related products are becoming more common. It can resemble food that looks harmless, such as a cookie or a brownie. You don’t want to accidentally ingest, or let a child ingest, something with a harmful substance.

Know which candy contains common allergens, such as peanuts. This also falls under reading the labels. If you’re not familiar with the candy, then it’s best to not let your child have it. Bring allergy medication for just in case you need it.

Photo credit: Raw Pixel 

Melissa and Doug

COSTUMES

Make sure your child’s costume is visible at night. If their costume isn’t visible in the dark, then you could use reflective tape. Also, avoid costumes that are hard to walk in or could cause a child to trip.

Avoid costumes that obstruct your child’s sight or vision. This could pose a problem when he is trying to walk through the neighborhood. This also means masks. Make sure your child can see through the mask in a dark setting. And also, make sure the mask is well-ventilated.

Dress appropriately for the weather. We’re in Michigan so you already know it’s going to be cold on Halloween night! Make sure your children have their coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and comfortable shoes. 

Photo credit: Conner Baker 

Choose flame-resistant costumes. Unfortunately, there are costumes that are cheaply made and are not very safe to wear. Make sure the costume fabric, wigs, and beards are made of flame-resistant material.

Choose costume accessories that are made from flexible material. If your child has a knife, sword, wand, or other pointed-object, make sure the edges are dull.

Use hypo-allergenic makeup. There are so many face painting packages and other Halloween makeup kits being sold in stores. It can get confusing to know which brand you can trust.

Again, make sure you read the labels and also ask a store representative for help if you need it. And don’t forget to remove the face paint before you and the kids go to bed!

Are there any other safety tips you would add to the list? 


For more healthy and safety tips, visit the ACEP official website here

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.


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