Halloween is just around the corner, and kids of all ages are gearing up for the festivities. Before your children go trick or treating, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help ensure they have a safe holiday.

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • 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.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Check your child’s bag of candy for any unusual appearance or discoloration; tiny pinholes or tears in wrapper; and spoiled or unwrapped items.
  • Discard homemade items unless you know and trust the person who handed them out.
  • Click here for ideas on how to donate leftover or an overabundance of candy.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind trick-or-treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags. 
    • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.
    • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!

And finally, keep your fur-babies safe on this holiday by keeping them indoors and away from the front door. It’s especially important to bring your black cat inside, since they are at an even greater risk of harm.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Take the Terror Out of Halloween

Is your youngster frightened of all the scary things associated with Halloween? Here’s a great idea to help: Make a visit to your local library and ask the librarian for books that help children see that Halloween is full of pretend things—some scary and lots of them just plain fun! Click here for some great choices.