The U.S Census Bureau estimates 36 million trick or treaters ranging in age from 5 to 13 years hit the streets across the United States on the 2017 Halloween holiday. Costume, pedestrian, and trick or treat safety are an important part of Halloween night preparations.
How to Find Safe Halloween Masks and Costumes
Keep kids and other family members spooky and safe by choosing masks and costumes that are:
- Brightly colored or fitted with reflective tape
- Equipped with large nose, mouth and eye holes
- Free of sharp or hard accessories such as metal swords or knives
- Loose enough to wear warm clothing underneath
- Made of fire-retardant materials
- Short enough to prevent a tripping hazard
Masks should not block a trick or treater’s vision. Halloween make-up is usually a better choice, provided it is non-toxic and meets federal cosmetics standards.
Online Halloween costume shopping is a great way to save money; however, family members cannot try on costumes before purchasing. When in doubt, phone the costume company and inquire about costume materials, sizes, and safety features.
Keep Trick or Treaters Safe on the Road
Take children to a familiar, well-lit neighborhood. Each trick or treater should wear reflective tape on their costume and carry a flashlight. Stay together and never send trick or treaters out without adult supervision.
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC) reported that deaths among pedestrians aged 5-14 years were four times higher on October 31st between 4:00pm and 10:00pm than on any other night of the year, based on a study of figures from 1976-1995. To keep kids safe while trick or treating in the evening:
- Do not allow children to exit the car onto the road
- Do not walk onto the road from between parked cars
- Enter and exit driveways carefully
- Establish a trick or treating route, a meeting place in case anyone is lost, and a return time
- Walk from house to house; do not run
Instruct children not to eat any treats until a parent has inspected them.
Inspecting for Safe Halloween Treats
Feeding children an early dinner can help cut down on trick or treater snacking. Explain to children the importance of a parental candy inspection before eating treats.
Carefully sort through each child’s bag, watching for torn or open packaging, expired products, or any type of suspicious treat. Never allow children to eat fruit without thoroughly washing and slicing thinly.
Beware homemade treats and when in doubt, throw it out!
Enjoy a Fun and Safe Halloween Holiday
Parental supervision is key to a successful Halloween trick or treat trip. Enjoy this time with the children and venture out with friends and family for safety in numbers. Obey pedestrian and traffic laws, dress warm, and have a safe Halloween!