Halloween is the perfect time to change your identity, kick up your heels, and revel in mayhem--but you'll want to make sure to do it safely. Whether you're a parent, party host, teen, child, or homeowner, no one wants to end up with medical or legal issues on November 1! Keep your Halloween safe and exciting by following these practical Halloween tips for costuming, trick-or-treating and party-going to make your night one to remember, for all the right reasons!
Trick-or-Treating Halloween Safety Tips
- Be Visible -- Whether you're dressing tiny tots for trick-or-treating, or heading out yourself, make sure to wear light colors that will make you visible to motorists. Accent darker costumes like Wizard and Witch Costumes with reflective tape, or carry a bright, reflective bag to make sure motorists see you coming.
- Don't Trip -- Make sure that everyone's shoes fit well, so they can walk easily. Also, choose costume sizes that are short enough for easy mobility, to prevent tripping hazards, the leading cause of Halloween accidental injuries!
- Check In With Everyone -- Make sure that you pre-plan phone calls or meeting times, so that your group knows when to check in with you to assuage your worries. Have a designated place for kids to meet up if they get separated from the group and lost.
- Keep Time On Your Side -- Whether you're out trick-or-treating, or party-hopping, have everyone in your group wear watches that are easy to read in the dark. Have designated times that you get in touch by cell phone, and make sure that you all round up at the right time.
- Keep Medication Handy -- Just because it's Halloween doesn't mean you've got superhero powers. Make sure that you carry any prescription medicines you need, and send kids out with any pills they need to take. Also consider preparing for allergies, with an inhaler for asthma sufferers and allergy medications just in case anyone reacts badly to a food or skin product.
- Use the Buddy System -- There's safety in numbers, even in the dark. Have everyone in your group use the buddy system, so that they're not alone as they walk the streets.
- Use the Restroom -- It's no fun to realize you should have gone when you were at home. Make sure that you have planned ahead for easy and safe bathroom trips if needed. It's not safe to enter stranger's homes to use the restroom--and they may not even allow you to!
- Stage a Dress Rehearsal -- If your costume is uncomfortable or dangerous, it's no fun to find out Halloween night! Try on your costumes at least a day before Halloween, so you can adjust them if necessary.
Halloween Safety Tips for Kids
- Make Clean Exits -- Little ones should be able to get out of their costumes in a jam, in case of an emergency. Make sure their costumes are easy to take off themselves, with snaps, zippers, or velcro closures.
- Help Kids See Clearly -- Child Halloween Masks are a great way to create your kid's character look. But you'll want to make sure the masks fit well, and that Child Halloween Hats are always secured. Cut wider eye holes in masks that obscure their vision or use Makeup Accessories instead.
- Fight the Fire -- Teach kids to "Stop, Drop, and Roll!" in case of accidental contact with flames.
- Choose Safe Costumes -- Make sure that all the costumes your kids wear are flame retardant and avoid paper costumes entirely. Opt for polyester or mod-acrylics costumes instead, which are safer. Candles and torches are often used for decoration at Halloween, and you'll want to make sure your kids' wigs, hats, accessories are all safe.
- Phone Home -- Equip your kids with a handful of quarters, prepaid phone card, or working cell phones so they can call 911 in case of emergency, and you in case of need.
- Play the Chaperone -- Always make sure to accompany children under 12 on their trick or treat routes. Dressing up in Adult Halloween Costumes can help you blend in and will make kids feel less supervised while keeping their safety guarded.
- Map Kids' Routes -- Map your neighborhood using an online map service, and sit down with kids to draw a trick or treat route. It will be easier to find them in a pinch, and they'll be less apt to use shortcuts like cutting across front yards and traveling down alleys. Make sure kids know to only approach houses of people they know, or people with their porchlights on.
- Fuel Kids Up First -- Hoping your kids don't consume all their candy on their trick or treat route? Have them eat a filling, nutritious meal before heading out. They'll be less apt to eat unsafe candy before you get the chance to check it.
- Conceal Their Identity -- Instruct your kids not to give their names to strangers, but do take time to discreetly sew or pin their emergency identification information like name, address, and phone number inside their costumes in case of emergency.
- Avoid Sugar Overload -- Set up an innovative trade for your kids so that they don't overdose on candy and to encourage them to wait to have it inspected before eating it. For instance, offer your kids toys or privileges in exchange for a number of pieces of candy, or donate any extra treats to a charity, like a hospital or food bank.
- Slow Down Your Kids -- Make sure your kids don't pick up the pace by running and walk instead. If you won't be joining them, give them adequate time for them to complete their designated route.
- Keep Teeth Clean -- Make sure kids brush their teeth after candy consumption, and try to avoid candies that will stain the teeth and tongue. If your child has braces, make sure you avoid potentially damaging treats like popcorn, hard candy, jelly beans, taffy, or chewy candies.
- Take the Edge Off Carving -- Make sure kids use safety knives with smoother edges for pumpkin carving, or allow little ones to draw instead of cut.
- Check the Candy -- Even though reports of tampered candy are actually quite low, they're still coming from an unknown source. Make sure to sort and check treats collected by your kids, and toss spoiled, unwrapped or strange items, including those with discoloration or tiny pin holes. Toss out any homemade baked goods, and be sure to remove choking hazards for small kids, like gum, peanuts, or tiny toys.
Halloween Tips for Adults
- Don't Drink And Drive -- It's not a party if it's not safe. When attending an adult party, make sure there are designated drivers and non-alcoholic beverages for them to drink.
- Close the Bar Early -- One of the biggest mistakes hosts make is waiting until their own energy is spent to close down the party. Do your guests a favor and have a last call 90 minutes before party ends to give people a chance to sober up. This is a great time to serve coffee, tea and dessert or watch a video of the night's festivities or a scary movie. Remember, food and water don't sober you up--only time does.
- Drive Slowly -- Adults driving on All Hallows Eve should drive cautiously and slowly, even if they don't see any kids around. Be on the lookout for kids darting out from parked cars, and watch other drivers for erratic moves that might signal inebriation and slow reaction time.
Halloween Tips for Homeowners
- Practice Indoor Fire Safety -- Make sure to keep candles away from curtains or other flammable objects. Halloween is also a great time to put fresh batteries in your home smoke alarms, and test them, as well.
- Keep Walkways Clear -- If you're planning on answering the door for trick-or-treaters, make sure to clear your front yard area of hazards. Keep your porch free of trippable objects like hoses or bikes, and keep jack-o'-lanterns at a safe distance from where they're likely to stand. Sweep your porch and keep the area well lit, to avoid accidents.
- Keep Pets Elsewhere -- Make sure that you properly restrain or sequester your pets, so that they don't attack guests or dart out the door. Halloween can have a lot of strange sights and sounds, and you never know for sure how your pet will react.
- Practice Safe Pumpkins -- Nothing says Halloween like a jack-o'-lantern on the front porch, but trick-or-treaters can get harmed by stray costume hems in open flames. Use votive candles if you must use a real fire source, or opt for safer battery-powered lighting devices or chemical light sticks to illuminate your pumpkin.
Halloween Tips for Everyone
- Light Your Path -- Halloween's fall timing means that it will get dark early, and all partygoers and children should carry flashlights with fresh batteries to make their rounds free of hazards, and to make themselves visible to cars.
- Obey the Rules of the Road -- No matter what your Halloween activities are, make sure to always stay on sidewalk when walking. If there's no sidewalk available, walk at the edge of the road, facing traffic to make yourself more visible. Always use crosswalks, and only cross at corners. And never assume the right-of-way--just because the last car stopped for you doesn't mean the next one will, and having the right of way doesn't mean you have invincibility.
- Plan For Bad Weather -- Prepare in advance for bad weather, so you're not caught off guard. Make sure you have weather-appropriate gear, like sweaters, jackets, rain coats or umbrellas just in case.
Halloween Tips for Pet Owners
- ID Your Pets -- No one wants to spend Halloween night trying to find their lost pet. Make sure that your pets have all their up-to-date tags on, and whenever possible, get your pets fitted with a sub-skin microchip so you can identify them later if lost.
- Cover And Secure Cords -- With all the glitz of Halloween Decorations this time of year, make sure that any cords are covered or secured under a table or against a wall with masking tape. Pets who chew on exposed wires can suffer great harm.
- Choose Kind Pet Costumes -- If you're dressing your pet up in Pet Costumes, make sure they don't constrict the animal's movement, hearing, vision or barking. Remember to choose safe costumes without dangling parts that could be chewed off and ingested, and never force your pet to wear a costume they're uncomfortable in.
- Keep Dog Treats Pet Safe -- Don't feed candy to pets, since they'll likely encounter gastrointestinal problems! Avoid pet tummy aches by choosing pet-safe treats. Also, make sure Halloween plants and pumpkins are tucked away out of your pet's reach so they don't get accidentally munched on!
Halloween Makeup Tips
- Use Safe Makeup -- Make sure that you're using professional Halloween Makeup when you get ready to go out. Don't follow untested internet recipes or use products outside their intended use. Just because a cosmetic is safe on your lips doesn't mean it's safe for your eyes. You can check to make sure your product is FDA approved on its label, and see how its ingredients match up to approved ones on the FDA Website.
- Protect Your Skin -- It's actually quite dangerous to use fluorescent or luminescent colors around your eyes, so opt for bright, normal colors in that area. You should also test a little bit of anything you'll be putting on your face on your sensitive inner arm first, to be sure you won't have an allergic reaction.
- Wash Off Makeup -- When you get home from your Halloween festivities, be sure to wash your face before you go to sleep! Not only will this help prevent premature aging, but it will keep makeup from flaking or smearing into your eyes. Make sure to follow removal instructions, too--if makeup specifies to use soap and water, cold cream, or eye makeup remover, make sure you have those handy and in stock.
Halloween Accessories Tips
- Be Careful With Contacts -- Colored contacts may be a way to add detail to your Halloween costume, but you should never wear them unless they are prescribed to you. Always consult an eye care professional before using decorative contact lenses, or opt for Halloween Masks instead. Also, if you do wear contacts for everyday wear, ensure that you don't have flaking makeup around eyes, to avoid getting cosmetic debris in them.
- Use Safety Props -- Make sure that any Costume Accessories your family uses are safe for carrying and not too long or sharp. If kids are carrying knives or guns as part of their costumes, make sure that they are not too realistic looking, to avoid problems.