of trick-or-treating kids can get so caught up in the fun
themselves that they might forget some simple safety ideas
that could save everyone some trouble. Having a fun and safe
Halloween will make it all worth while.
Here you will find safety tips, games, and good advice for
Halloween this season.
Although children look forward to tricks, treats, and
ghoulish garb, Halloween can be fraught with fright for
parents, with candy given to their kids by strangers and a
legion of masked and costumed trick-or-treaters at the door.
However, following a few safety tips can ensure safe fun for
kids and candy-givers alike.
Explain to children the difference between tricks and
vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem like fun but they
need to know the other side of the coin as well, clean up and
damages can ruin Halloween. If they are caught vandalizing,
make them clean up the mess they've made.
to your kids that animal cruelty is not acceptable. Kids may
know this on their own but peer pressure can be a bad thing.
Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only
morally wrong but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.
To ensure that trick-or-treaters, you, and your house stay
safe, remember the following tips.
- Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or
decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest
someone go bump in the night.
- Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you
wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would
- Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to
haunt (patrol) your community.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your
police or sheriff’s department.
To make sure even the scariest costumes are safe, keep the
following in mind when buying or designing one.
- Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and
doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
- Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so
that young ones are safe around jack-o’-lanterns, candles,
and other flames.
- Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken
is the one around the neighborhood.
- Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector
strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to
carry glow sticks and flashlights.
- If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure
that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or
foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging
your child to design a costume that is scary without one.
in mind the next few tips to make sure your trick-or-treater’s
night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun.
- Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking
around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and
especially not at night.
- Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or
- Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and
set a time set when kids should be home.
- Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his
or her friends or from you.
Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.
After a successful and safe night around the neighborhood,
remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone
- Remind your children not to eat treats until they’ve
come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a
substantial snack before they go out.
- Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be
especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the
factory or that is no longer sealed.
- Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be
green even without the makeup.
For even more tips, see the
Halloween Pointers for Parents (PDF).
Be sure your children take
McGruff's Halloween Safety Quiz (PDF)
Or have your children Read and color
McGruff's Halloween Safety
Tips Maze (PDF)
Remember to give out McGruff’s Halloween Safety Tips brochure
(PDF) and the Halloween Safety Quiz and Coloring Page (PDF)
for a frighteningly fun (and safe) night.
Reprinted with permission from National Crime