Halloween Safety Tips

The key to keeping kids safe during Halloween is close parental supervision and a few trick-or-treat precautions. Cincinnati Children’s and experts in the Drug and Poison Information Center offer these tips to make this year's holiday a safe one.

  • Never go trick-or-treating alone.  Make sure an adult is always with you.
  • Walk from house to house.  Do not run.
  • Stay on well-lit streets.  Look left, right and then left again before crossing the street.
  • Walk with a flashlight.  Put reflective tape on your child’s costume or bag so drivers easily see him or her.
  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
  • Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.
  • Cross streets at the corner; use crosswalks when available and never cross between parked cars.
  • Use nontoxic face paint instead of masks.  Masks can limit your child’s ability to see. Test the face paint or makeup on a small part of your child’s skin to check for allergic reactions.
  • Toy swords, knives and other toy weapons should be short, soft and flexible.
  • Wear flame-resistant costumes.  Look for a tag or sticker saying the costume is flame-resistant before purchasing.
  • Have your child's name and address attached to his or her costume.  
  • Make sure your child's costume doesn't drag on the ground.
  • Shoes should fit well, even if they don't go with the costume.
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
  • Tell your children to bring the candy home to be inspected before eating anything. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
  • Check candy for choking hazards for younger children, like hard or chewy candy.
  • Limit the amount of candy eaten each day. Make sure children brush their teeth well after eating candy.
  • Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn. Nonfood treats may include plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers and coins.
  • Try decorating pumpkins with markers and stickers instead of carving.
  • Invite children over to have a costume party with games.  This will limit the dangers of walking from house to house in the dark.
  • Many recreation centers, schools, churches and community centers host a Halloween or fall party.
  • Battery powered jack-o’-lantern candles are preferable to a real flame. If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.

The Drug and Poison Information Center is available 24 hours a day, 1-800-222-1222.

Last Updated 04/2015