Fall means it’s time for colorful leaves, cool mornings, pumpkin spice everything and Halloween. To make Halloween a success, it’s important to prioritize safety as kids go door-to-door. Read on to find Halloween safety tips for everyone.
Surveys have found that Halloween comes with a heightened risk for injury and even death. There are twice as many children hit by cars on Halloween than on any other night of the year. More drunk drivers are also present.
Furthermore, many parents report sending their children trick-or-treating without supervision as well as allowing kids to wear costumes to include potentially dangerous accessories. While we can’t control what everyone else around us does, there are plenty of steps we can take as parents and caregivers to ensure the safety of children and neighbors this Halloween.
Parent Tips for a Safe Halloween
As parents, it’s our job to set our kids up for a safe and successful evening of trick-or-treating on Halloween. This means implementing Halloween safety measures and setting boundaries to minimize risk for our own children as well as those in our communities.
Before trick-or-treating, have a conversation with your kids about the expectations for the evening ahead. Younger children should always be supervised. Child trackers may be clipped to clothing, or emergency contact information can be written on their arm or wristband should they become separated. Choose costumes without masks that can impair breathing and vision and clothing that isn’t baggy to prevent tripping.
Older children should have directions for their trick-or-treating route, who they will be walking with, and what time they are expected to return home. This may also include checking in with parents.
With all of the activities on Halloween nights, teach children to be particularly aware of their surroundings when trick-or-treating. Going out in groups is important, whether it’s a neighborhood pod or a handful of young kids with parental supervision.
Kids should be supervised at all times, especially when they are going up to the door at houses and crossing streets. Supplying them with a flashlight, glowstick, or reflective tape is a good safety practice to remain seen in the dark.
Teach children to never go inside of a stranger’s home on Halloween or any other night of the year. Instruct them to use crosswalks, stay with a buddy and don’t approach pets.
Halloween safety tips also apply after children have returned home. Kids are always excited to dive into their candy collection right away, but it’s a good idea to go through their haul together before anything is consumed.
Certain types of candy may be unsafe for younger children because of their texture or shape. Things like jaw-breakers or other round candy, as well as super chewy candy, should not be given to young children.
Checking for damaged candy is one of the most important tips for Halloween safety. Discarding pieces that have been opened is a crucial preventive practice in case they have been tampered with.
Give Trick-or-Treaters a Safe Experience
Halloween safety also applies if you’re handing out candy. When kids come to your door, there are things you can do to offer a safe experience.
Prepare for Allergies
Nut allergies are prominent. Many kids are also allergic to ingredients like chocolate or milk. If you incorporate candy with these ingredients, you may also have a separate bucket free from common allergens.
Some families place a teal-colored pumpkin (real or fake) on their doorstep on Halloween to indicate they are an allergy-friendly stop. Neighborhood sites often share maps with allergy-friendly homes highlighted to make them easier to find.
Create a Candy Chute
This trend became popular during the pandemic to allow children Halloween fun while also social distancing. Some families have gotten really creative, using anything from PVC pipes to homemade catapults to get candy from their doorstep to children’s bags without passing of hands.
Another idea is to create a candy “graveyard” on the front lawn, where children can grab candy as they pass by rather than approaching the door.
Provide Well-Lit Paths and Doors
Most of the time spent trick-or-treating is in the dark. Help families find your door by keeping it well-lit. Having lights that line the pathway can help prevent falls.
Alternatives to Traditional Trick-or-Treating
Going door to door isn’t the only way to celebrate Halloween. If you prefer a safe alternative to trick-or-treating, host a Halloween gathering during the day or look for a trunk or treat in your community.
Trunk or treat is where communities or organizations will go to parking lots and decorate the trunks of their cars to pass out candy. If your child is sick, you can always have a scary movie night or get creative and make each room in your house a trick-or-treat stop.
Tips for Adults to Enjoy a Safe Halloween
Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from Halloween safety tips. Here are some for adults.
Prepare Before You Go Out
Preparation is the best way to avoid potential Halloween risks. Have a plan, including what route your family will take as well as a start and end time. Take a flashlight and phone with you.
If you’re not going to be home while others are trick-or-treating, this may also include placing a bucket of candy on your front porch, leaving the light on and making sure your door is locked.
Celebrate at Home
If you’re not keen on the idea of leaving the house this Halloween, you can offer the alternative of celebrating at home. It is especially wise to avoid driving under the influence if you’re planning to consume alcohol. You may also feel safer being at home to avoid large crowds and the risk of COVID-19 during Halloween.
Mindful of Road Accidents
Accidents on the road are common on Halloween. There’s a lot of distraction in communities, from children running around from home to home. Many trick-or-treaters come by car from other neighborhoods. Keep an eye on the roads this Halloween and practice safety by keeping children out of the street.
GoHealth Urgent Care is Open on Halloween
Concerned about having a safe Halloween? Don’t worry; GoHealth Urgent Care is open in case your family needs assistance. We’re equipped to treat a wide range of injuries and illnesses.
If you need help assessing and treating an injury or accident, come see the experts at GoHealth Urgent Care. You can walk in without an appointment, or you can check in online. We’ll have you back to feeling better in no time.
GoHealth Urgent Care partners with these regional healthcare providers:
- Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in New York
- Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in San Francisco
- Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care in Portland & Vancouver
- Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care in Connecticut
- Mercy-GoHealth Urgent Care in Arkansas, Springfield, St. Louis & Oklahoma
- Novant Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in North Carolina
- Henry Ford -GoHealth Urgent Care in Michigan
- Memorial Hermann -GoHealth Urgent Care in Texas
Written by Sarah Thebarge, Physician Assistant