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Halloween Health & Safety

By on October 29, 2011

It seems that many adults get just as much a kick out of Halloween as the kids, which makes it a great time of year for the entire family. And to ensure everyone has a healthy and happy Halloween, we’ve compiled some helpful tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and my mother.


  • Take photos of each person in their costume in case you become separated and need to give a description to authorities.
  • Make sure costumes are bright, reflective, and warm depending on weather forecasts. Avoid flammable costumes.
  • There’s a lot of talk about Halloween masks resembling infamous personalities. Use your best judgment and remember this can be a time to have family fun vs. make a political statement. Have some fun.
  • Get 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.


  • Keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters. Large pets should be supervised. Remove anything a child could trip over in your front yard.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Consider inviting neighbors (e.g. single moms) to your home to avoid isolation on an evening when strangers will come to your doorstep.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.


  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. Adults should avoid being inebriated or raucous  – you are supervising minors.
  • Older kids who are trick-or-treating without an adult should have a designated route and return time.
  • Never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

In order to make sure your Halloween is happy and healthy, plan to have a good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating. This will help manage any sugar-binges later in the night. Adults should also be open to providing non-food treats for those who visit your home (e.g. quarters, coloring books, gift certificate, etc.). Adults should also analyze all treats before they are consumed. Some local police departments offer this service for free. And while tempting, ration the treats for the upcoming days and weeks.


One Comment

  1. Staff Contributor

    October 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I’m wondering what other Halloween tips am I forgetting? Add yours here…

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