Halloween is a few short days away! Keep your ghosts and ghouls safe this spooky season with a few tips:

1) Wear reflective clothing or costume help with visibility at night. This keeps kids and parents alike visible for motorists.

2) Bundle up! With snow already on our doorsteps, make sure you and your trick-or-treaters are dressed appropriately for the weather.

3) Young children should be accompanied by a guardian or responsible adult. If older children are out on their own, picking a pre-approved route and having a method of communication like a cellphone to check in is recommended.

4) Stay on well-lit streets or only visit houses with porch lights on.

5) Make sure your trick-or-treaters know not to enter a house or a car to accept candy! Notify authorities about any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Of course, Halloween is a little bit more than just trick-or-treating. As outlined on HealthyChildren.org, here are some further safety items to keep in mind leading up to and during Halloween that can be applicable each year:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting. For the best control while carving, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (AAHS) recommends adults use a small pumpkin saw (sold with other Halloween goods) in small strokes,  directing the blade away from themself and others. The AAHS advises against using larger blades, which can become lodged in the pumpkin and cause injuries when pulled out. If injured by a blade, here are some guidelines to help you determine whether or not stitches are needed.
  • 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. They should never be left unattended.
  • Remove tripping hazards to keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters. Keep the porch and front yard clear of anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.
  • Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost or is prone to wander. See Help Prevent Your Child from Going Missing for tips. 
  • Consider offering non-edible goodies to trick-or-treaters visiting your home. Halloween is one of the trickiest days of the year for children with food allergies. Food Allergy Research & Education’s Teal Pumpkin Project, which promotes safe trick-or-treating options for food-allergic children, suggests items such as glow sticks, spider rings, vampire fangs, pencils, bubbles, bouncy balls, finger puppets, whistles, bookmarks, stickers and stencils.
  • Keep an eye on what your child has in his or her mouth at all times while on the trick-or-treat trail. Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, it can happen. A responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items. Once your child is ready to enjoy treats at home, keep in mind that babies and toddlers should not have any hard candies, caramel apples, popcorn, gum, small candies (jelly beans, etc.), gummy candy, pumpkin seeds, or anything with whole nuts. Candy wrappers, stickers, small toys, or temporary tattoos can be a choking hazard, as well. As all parents know, babies and toddlers will put just about anything into their mouths!

To read up more, please visit HealthyChildren.org so that the biggest scare this Halloween season is that really good haunted house down the street and not an accident or injury.