halloween safety

Kids love the magic of Halloween but for parents, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.2
  • 12% of parents report that their child age 5 or younger is allowed to trick-or-treat without adult supervision.7
  • Studies show that no child under the age of 12 should go Trick-or-Treating without adult supervision.7
  • If someone is injured on your property, you could be held liable.
  • If you serve alcohol at your Halloween party, you may be responsible for any accidents caused by intoxicated minors.
  • There have been two deaths linked to tampered Halloween candy but the acts were committed by family members, not strangers.
  • Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, and October ranks No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,550.2
  • We learned that an overwhelming majority of children (89%) participate in Halloween activities, and three quarters (73%) go trick-or-treating door-to-door.
  • 31% of parents are afraid of a pedestrian injury involving their children on Halloween night.
  • Only 1/3 of parents talk to their kids annually about Halloween, although 3/4 report having Halloween safety concerns.3

Halloween candy may be tampered with if it has:

  • An unusual appearance or discoloration
  • Tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers
  • Spoiled or unwrapped items

Homemade items or baked goods should be discarded unless you personally know who gave them.5

Tips for Parents:

  • A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds.2
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.  Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.1
  • If your older children are going alone, 12 and up, plan and review a route acceptable to you
  • Agree on a specific time children should return home
  • Teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home or car
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friend.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
  • Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision, use face paint instead
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
  • Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.2
  • Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.3
  • Check the updated sex offender registry in your city to ensure you and your children steer clear from these homes and neighborhoods.
  • Children should have emergency identification on their costumes or around their wrist that includes their name, phone number, and address in case they get separated from you.7

Tips for Motorists:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.1
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.2

If you are expecting Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Be sure outdoor walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Never allow someone you do not know into your home.3