Trick or Treat Safety

Tips to Prepare Children

  • If you plan to trick or treat door to door, start practicing street safety. Remind them not to run ahead and wait for an adult whenever crossing streets. Taking a walk to practice your route is a great idea and great exercise. Show them the difference between a sidewalk and the road. Remember they will be very excited and it will be helpful to have reinforced basic safety rules ahead of time.
  • If you plan to carve a pumpkin and place a lit candle in it, have a mini lesson on fire safety. Show your child the candle and demonstrate or explain what happens when it's lit why they should never touch it. Explain where the lit candle will go. Make sure you have designated a safe place to keep the lighter or matches so that it won't accidentally be left on a counter in all the excitement.
carving pumpkins
  • Taking a little time to talk before the big event about candy safety may save you from an untimely melt down during trick or treating. Help them to understand that you need to check their candy before eating to make sure it is safe to consume. You can explain it's like selecting fruit at the store, you only want to pick the best ones. Would you buy a box of crackers that were open?
  • It is likely that your child will want to eat some treats especially if they see other children eating. Again setting the rules ahead of time can be very helpful. Tell them how many they can have, explain that you will decide which ones to pick from to make sure they are safe for eating. For example, no lollipops during the walk just in case they were to trip and fall with it in their mouth. If you want to make extra sure the candy is safe, bring a few from home! Let your child pick out a couple from home from a selection you feel is appropriate for eating during walking.
  • Making sure your child had a good dinner can also help limit the desire to consume too much candy.
  • Get them excited about wearing their costume! If it is a character, get a book or dvd or color book and watch how excited they get.
  • Have your child practice saying, "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You!"

Tips for Adults to Consider

  • Plan your route ahead of time. Consider which way will be the easiest way home especially with young toddlers...going uphill will seem extra tiring on the return loop...even more so if you end up carrying them!
  • Select a costume that your child fits well in. Make sure length is appropriate for the shoes your child will be wearing to avoid tripping on the costume. Check eye holes such that it does not block your child's vision. Check for scratchy tags or wear a light shirt under the costume if your child is sensitive to certain materials like lace and elastics. If your child is carrying an accessory for their costume such as a wand, pirate knife or scythe be sure it won't pose any injury if they were to fall on it.
  • Make sure the shoes are comfortable for walking or if they are young toddlers, consider using a wagon. This will keep them safe between houses and make it less likely you will have to carry them as they tire.
  • Try on the costume a few days before in case you need to make adjustments. If they have wings, hats and other accessories make sure it fits and can be secured comfortably or you will end up carrying it. We have stitched costumes to fit better, and used baby safety pins to attach wings better when the straps weren't secure enough.
  • Have your child carry a bag appropriate for their size. You can bring a large one to empty theirs to keep it from getting too heavy for them.
  • Check the temperature and weather for the day. If it is an extra cool day, you can plan to add warmer clothing that will match their costume like leggings for girls, a thermal shirt underneath for boys, etc.

Tips for Pets Owners

  • If you are having a party, you might consider keeping your pets in a room away from all the noise and people. If you are passing out treats, you might also consider keeping them in a room to keep from darting out in the excitement or from curiosity.
  • Chocolate, foil wrappers and other candy can make pets very ill so be sure to remind children not to leave them lying around.
  • Pet costumes are cute but unless your cat or dog are comfortable with wearing clothes, you could be creating a lot of discomfort or anxiety for them.
  • Keep lit pumpkins away from pets in the event the curious cat or excited dog wagging his tail knocks it over.