10 Tips for a Safe Halloween

This guest post is by Janette Dolores of www.janettedolores.com.

Remember growing up and looking forward to the cool or spooky costume you’d be wearing for Halloween and all of the candy you’d rake in?

As a parent, grandparent or relative of little ones, do you now regard those cool and spooky costumes and candy doled out by strangers as causes for concern?


Photo Attribution: Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

If so, consider the following ten tips for safe Halloween fun.

  1. Join the fun. If your children are young enough to trick-or-treat, they’re still young enough to need a responsible adult present during the outing. The combination of Halloween falling on a weekday this year and people driving home from work while trick-or-treaters are racing from house to house warrants extra caution.
  2. Plan the trick-or-treating route ahead of time. If you’re taking the kids door-to-door, consider the neighborhood to be visited, its traffic pattern and whether the area is sparsely populated.
  3. Check the weather. Keep in mind that, despite areas with cooler Halloweens, kids may scoff at the idea of wearing a jacket over the outfit they’ve had picked out for months. One way to avoid this tug-of-war is to dress the kids in long-sleeved shirts, thermals, or leggings under the costumes so the integrity of the costume oeuvre d’art isn’t compromised.
  4. Host a Halloween bash! Frigid or stormy weather forecasted on the day of? Call fellow parents beforehand and plan a home Halloween party. Safe-to-eat treats, warm drinks, and family-friendly Halloween games can be included. Pick up a Halloween CD at your local party store for added effect.
  5. Visit the mall. If your children are toddlers or younger and you are hesitant to take them outdoors this holiday, dress up your children and take them to the mall to trick-or-treat with other costumed children. Many stores in malls pass out candy on Halloween. Note: get to the mall early to avoid arriving after candy supplies at stores have run out!
  6. Stay safe by staying visible. Stick reflective tape (found in hardware or toy stores) on your children’s costumes, or take along glow sticks, glow necklaces, and/or a flashlight to stay visible to motorists.
  7. Do a costume test-run. Have your children try on their costumes. Notice how well they walk in them, and see and breathe through any mask or headgear. Consider face painting instead of a mask so that vision and breathing aren’t obstructed. Never dress an infant or toddler in costumes with long pieces of fabric or embellishment that may pose a choking hazard. Last, check labels for fireproof or fire retardant material.
  8. Inspect all Halloween candy once you get home. This rule has applied for generations and remains a safety must for identifying and discarding unwrapped or otherwise problematic treats. Give your children dinner before trick-or-treating and take along a few pieces of candy from home to keep at bay your children’s temptation to dip into the Halloween bounty.
  9. Know the allergy-friendly treats. If food allergies are a concern, consider your children’s specific allergic trigger(s) when deciding what candy gets past you, the gatekeeper. While which candy is “safe” depends on the allergy at issue, some peanut and tree nut-free options are: Junior Mints, Pez, Tootsie Rolls, Twizzlers, Sweet Tarts, Starburst, Life Savers, Skittles, Smarties, and many varieties of lollipops.
  10. Trust your instincts and remind your children to trust theirs. A stranger doesn’t stop being a stranger just because he is handing out candy. Allow children to only approach homes with illuminated front porches, and instruct your children to never go inside a home or near a car for candy.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Janette Dolores is an at-home mom, wife and blogger. She is passionate about family, spirituality and writing, and draws inspiration for her writing from everyday experiences. Read more of her posts at www.janettedolores.com.

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  1. Great advice, but I have to object to number 1! Kids usually keep trick-or-treating well into their early teens, at which point please, parents, don’t be that parent. No 13 year old kid wants their parents tagging along. With little kids, fine, but there’s an age at which kids will want to, and should be able to, go out with their friends instead of their parents.

  2. Thanks for the tips. Very helpful and informative.

  3. Excellent advice. Well written and timely too! Thanks for sharing, Janette.

  4. My kids are all teens now, but I insist they go with a group. They usually plan a ‘group’ costume, or have a theme. They’re convinced they snag more candy that way!


    • Ooh, teens dressed in a group costume. That sounds creative and fun. We’re pretty good about handing out a fair amount of candy at our abode, but I’d definitely give extra treats to reward such creative efforts! Thanks for joining the discussion, Debbie!

  5. Great points Janette. There was a shopping mall trick r treat on the 28th where I live. There must have been over 300 people there and there is only about 20 stores to visit.

    It is snowing already where I live but I believe that on Halloween they are calling for clear skies.

  6. Thanks, Justin! I think it’s a great idea when towns and shops hold Halloween events on days before Halloween because it extends the holiday. The kids have extra fun and collect extra treats, and the parents appreciate the additional use the kids get out of their (sometimes intricate) costumes. 🙂

    It’s snowing out my way, as well, but the forecast predicts sunny skies on Halloween day. Here’s hoping! Thanks for joining the discussion.

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