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Halloween safety: Tips for families

Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for kids. These safety tips for parents, children and homeowners will help keep everyone safe and happy this Halloween.

For parents:

  • Do not use masks. Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars. Try a hypoallergenic (less likely to cause an allergic reaction), non-toxic make-up kit instead.
  • Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material.
  • Place strips of reflective tape on the back and front of costumes, so that drivers can better see your child.
  • Costumes should fit properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid items such as oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses and long capes.
  • Put your child’s name, address and phone number on his costume.
  • Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult for trick or treating. By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends. 
  • Keep in mind that gum and hard candy can pose a choking risk for young children.
  • Remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

If your child is going out without an adult:

  • Make sure your child is in a group of at least 3 people.
  • Give them a flashlight. A cell phone is also a good idea if you have one.
  • Discuss in advance the route they should follow. Ask them to call you if they plan to go on a street that isn't on the route.
  • Set a curfew (and make sure they have a watch with them).
  • Tell your children not to eat anything until they get home.

For children and youth:

  • Carry a white bag or pillowcase for your candy, and add some reflective tape.
  • Bring a cell phone, in case you need to make an emergency phone call.
  • Always travel in groups. Be sure there are at least 3 of you at all times.
  • Let your parents know where you're going to be at all times.
  • Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger's house.
  • Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there's no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
  • Don't criss-cross back and forth across the street. Work your way up one side of the street, and then start on the other.
  • If you have any allergies, tell the person who is giving out the treats.
  • Don't eat any of your treats before you get home. Once home, ask your parents to look through your treats with you to make sure everything is okay.

For homeowners:

  • Turn on outdoor lights, and replace burnt-out bulbs.
  • Remove items from your yard or porch that might trip a child.
  • Sweep wet leaves from your steps and driveway.
  • Use alternative to candles in your pumpkins, such as a flashlight or a battery-operated candle.
  • Remember that some children have food allergies. Consider giving treats other than candy, such as stickers, erasers or a yo-yo.

Alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating

  • Local community centres sometimes offer Halloween night activities.
  • Local shopping centres often have trick-or-treat nights for young children in a more controlled environment.
  • Plan a Halloween night at home with themed games and movies. Invite friends.

Reviewed by the following CPS committees:
Public Education Advisory Committee

Last Updated: October 2014