Fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are great fun for children, who enjoy dressing up in costumes, celebrating the season, and trick-or-treating for yummy treats. Fall holidays also provide community associations with the opportunity to focus on trick-or-treaters' safety.
Halloween can be scary for parents when children's costumes can be dangerous, too much candy can make kids sick, and navigating slippery sidewalks after dark can be risky.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following tips to make sure the little ghouls and goblins in your community have a safe Halloween:
Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Children should walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see trick-or-treaters.
Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before they're eaten.
Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help see and help others see you.
Always test makeup in a small area first. Remove it when done to avoid skin irritation.
Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
Lower the risk for serious eye injury by avoiding decorative contact lenses.
Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
Eat only factory-wrapped candy. Avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the cook.
Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult.
Never walk near lit candles or other open flames. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
If you're hosting a party or expecting trick-or-treaters:
• Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause falls.
• Keep candle-lit jack-o-lanterns and other open flames away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of reach of pets and small children and never leave them unattended.
• Drive safely and watch out for trick-or-treaters.
• Provide healthy treats, such as individual packs of raisins, trail mix, or pretzels. Offer fruits, vegetables, and cheeses to party guests.
• Use party games and trick-or-treating as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
>>For additional information, visit the CDCs' website at www.cdc.gov/family/halloween.