Halloween Safety Guide: Best Habits for Keeping Children Safe

By: Nicole Wheeler

Multinational children in Halloween costumes

Halloween is an exciting time of the year for kids. To help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some Halloween Safety Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).


  • 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 a flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.


Childcare Network Halloween tips: carving the pumpkinCARVING A NICHE
Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting. You can also read our article "5 No-Carve Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin".

  • 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.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.
  • For a non-flammable option, look for molded plastic pieces (similar to the pieces for Mr. Potato Head) that stick into the pumpkin rind. A super cute alternative!


Childcare Network Halloween habits to keep children safeON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL

  • A parent or responsible adult should 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.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters to follow these rules.
  1. Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  2. Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  3. Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  4. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  5. Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  6. Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom).
  7. 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!
  8. Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.


Childcare Network Halloween tips: candy overloadHEALTHY HALLOWEEN
A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.

  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books, pens, and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.


(adapted from a press release posted by the American Academy of Pediatrics)

Tags: Child Safety, Halloween, Holidays