Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

It’s the spookiest time of the year when leaves are falling out and kids are mapping out the best route to score the most candy. While Halloween can be a lot of fun, it also comes with several risks. That said, as long as you understand what those risks are and plan accordingly, you have no reason to fear. Here are a few ways to keep your witches, pirates and fairies safe during the Night of Fright, whether you’re trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving or decorating.

Trick-or-treat safety

Children with costumes Halloween

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According to safekids.org, the likelihood of children getting hit by a car doubles on Halloween more than on any other day of the year.

  • If you have a young child, it’s important to always know where they are. Children under 12 should be supervised at all times.
  • Before your family embarks on a trick-or-treating adventure, decide on a route of safe houses that’s easy to walk and includes clear paths and sidewalks.
  • Trick-or-treat early before the sun goes down to maximize visibility. No matter what time of night you go out, walk with a large group with plenty of adults who can keep children on track and out of traffic.
  • While trick-or-treating, remind your child of traffic safety rules: Look both ways before crossing, use traffic signals and crosswalks, make eye contact with drivers.
  • Don’t walk while looking down at your phone, even though you might be compelled to capture every “trick-or-treat!” moment.
  • Make sure your child’s costume includes a top layer of lighter, more visible colors. Have fun finding creative ways to incorporate reflective stickers on your child’s costume.
  • Have your child carry a candy bucket with built-in lights, or attach a glow stick onto their treat bucket or bag. They’ll love taking stock of their growing stash and you can rest assured that they can be seen by drivers.

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Costume safety

Children and adults in costume Halloween

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Make sure costumes fit well—and that kids can see clearly—to avoid any falls.

Being seen isn’t the only way to remain safe. What your child wears can increase the chance of injuries, so it’s important to make sure that your child’s costume is the right size in order to avoid trips, falls and distractions while walking.

  • Hem long gowns and loose pants: Make sure your child’s shoes are visible, and avoid costumes with long trains or capes that drag on the ground.
  • Opt for non-toxic face paint and makeup instead of masks, which tend to cover a child’s eyes and obstruct their vision. If your child does insist on wearing a mask, make sure the size of the eye holes are twice as big as your child’s eyes.
  • Hand props like toy swords, wands and shields should be made of soft materials to avoid any pokes or scratches. Take photos with full costume accessories and hand props before trick or treating and leave additional costume items at home.
  • Check the tags in your child’s costume to make sure it’s flame retardant before he runs past any Jack O’Lanterns with lit candles.

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Candy safety

Pumpkin bucket with candy

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It’s wise to check your child’s candy before letting them devour it.

While cases of tampered candy are rare and mostly the stuff of urban legends, it is worthwhile to be mindful of what’s in your child’s trick or treat bag.

  • Serve your kids a healthy, filling dinner before trick-or-treating, so they are less likely to eat candy while out: This will give you the chance to look through all of their candy when you get home.
  • Be sure to throw away any candy with tears, holes or damaged wrappers. Also throw away homemade treats and candy that could be a choking hazard for young children.
  • If your child has a food allergy, be sure to check all labels before any candy is unwrapped and gobbled up.

Pumpkin carving safety

Family carving pumpkin

Credit: Getty Images / evgenyatamanenko

Kid-friendly pumpkin carving sets keep little hands safe from injury.

The only thing more ubiquitous than the Jack O’Lantern during Halloween are pumpkin carving injuries. According to the American Society for the Surgery of the Hand, Halloween is a top-three holiday for emergency room visits. Here’s some tips so you can have both hands ready to give out candy on Halloween night.

  • Never let children do the carving, no matter how much they promise they’ll be careful. To make kids feel involved, let them draw the pattern and clean out all of the fun, goopy pulp and seeds, and get them a pumpkin carving kit designed just for kids.
  • Avoid any slipping by making sure your carving tools, surface, and hands are fully dry before you begin. Be sure to take your time and carve away from yourself in small, slow strokes and be very careful if your knife gets stuck. Many injuries occur when a carver uses force to remove a knife that gets stuck in the pumpkin.
  • Use a pumpkin carving kit to avoid injuries: These kits include stencils, a scoop, and easy-to-use serrated knives that are less likely to get stuck in a pumpkin and are not sharp enough to cause a deep cut.

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Pet safety

Corgi in witch hat leaves

Credit: Getty Images / Nataba

Keep your fur babies safe on Halloween by following a few guidelines.

You didn’t forget about your pet, did you? While the only thing cuter than kids in costumes are…

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