“Spooky season” is here, and it’s time for pumpkins, costumes, and treats. Here are some tips to keep in mind for a fun and safe Halloween:
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.
- Use non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to costume masks. Test makeup on a small patch of your child's skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises or allergic reactions on the big day.
- Make sure hats fit properly and don’t slide over your child’s eyes.
- Avoid any sharp or long swords, canes, or sticks as a costume accessory. Your child can easily be hurt by these accessories if they stumble or trip.
On the trick-or-treat trail
- To help protect children not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, stick with outdoor trick-or-treating in small groups. Make sure your children know to avoid large groups of kids clustering at doorsteps or anywhere else the goodies are being handed out.
- Always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
- Get flashlights with batteries for everyone.
- Make sure your kids know to visit only homes with a porch light on and that are being visited by other trick-or-treaters. Children should never enter a home or a car for a treat.
- Kids should stay on well-lit streets that have other trick-or treaters, always use the sidewalk and avoid alleys, never cut across yards, only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks, and never cross between parked cars.
- Make sure older kids stay with their group and carry a phone for quick communication. Give them a designated check-in time for an update.
- When kids get home with their haul, check for any treats that aren’t securely wrapped, and remind kids to wash their hands before eating any treats.
- Never allow small children to carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. After parents do the carving, kids can scoop out the seeds. (Then you can toast the seeds for a healthy snack!)
- Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
- Do not place candlelit pumpkins on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. Candlelit pumpkins should never be left unattended.