children in safe Halloween costumes

Halloween is a fun time for kids, but with pumpkin carving, costumes with pointy accessories and playtime around after dark, parents need to be attentive to safety.

Here are some tips for an enjoyable and safe Halloween this year.

Pumpkin Carving

Everyone loves pumpkins this time of year, and children really enjoy making jack-o’-lanterns. But remember these safety tips when your family gets together to create pumpkin decorations for Halloween.

  • Don’t let small children carve pumpkins. They can draw a face with markers, and you can use the sharp objects.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.

Safe Trick-or-Treating

When making your children’s Halloween plans, remember these holiday safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Avoid masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • If your child’s costume calls for makeup, look for non-toxic, hypoallergenic kits. Costumes should be flame-retardant and fit properly.
  • Avoid oversized shoes, high heels and long skirts or pants that could cause a child to fall.
  • Children trick-or-treating after dusk should have reflective tape on their costumes and carry flashlights.
  • Children shouldn’t snack while they’re trick-or-treating.
  • Check all treats at home for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packaging.

Safe Halloween Hosting

No one wants to create bad memories for the kids on Halloween, so safety is a priority on this night for the whole neighborhood. Don’t forget to do your part.

  • Keep sidewalks and walkways clear: Make sure any hazardous obstacles, such as a garden hose or lawn decorations, are put safely away.
  • Check all outside lights and replace any that are burned out.
  • Again, consider using battery-powered candles or glow sticks for carved pumpkins.
  • If you do use real candles, make sure they are kept away from the areas where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
  • Secure all Halloween decorations. You don’t want them to come loose and injure someone.
  • You might want to consider adding extra homeowners insurance for Halloween night. Nothing puts a damper on fun faster than a lawsuit, a possibility if a child gets hurt on your property or in your house. Contact your insurance agency to see if they are willing to do this.
  • If you’re planning a rather gruesome Halloween display, you may want to post warning signs to give very young or easily scared children a heads-up.
  • Only give out kid-friendly treats. Items should be pre-packaged and big enough so they don’t pose a choking hazard to small children.

 Updated from earlier versions on®.