7 Tips to Keep Your Trick-or-Treater Safe

Kids trick or treating outside

While Halloween can be a fun time for kids; it comes with some potential hazards. Follow these 7 tips, adapted from American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, to help keep your trick-or-treater safe.

Make Sure Your Child Can See and Be Seen

  • Masks can make it hard for kids to see obstacles and dangers. Hats or face paint allow for better peripheral vision.
  • Car drivers can have trouble seeing kids walking in the street at dusk. It’s critical that costumes are either lightly colored or have reflective tape to pick up headlights.
  • Always carry flashlights to light the way and avoid obstacles on sidewalks and roadways.

Make Sure Accessories Can’t Cause Injury–Especially to Eyes

Things like swords and magic wands should be blunt to avoid injury to skin and eyes. Ideally, they should be carried so the end of the stick is at waist level or lower.

Never Use Decorative Contact Lenses

The surface of the eye, where contact lenses set, is not perfectly smooth. The only safe contact lenses are those specifically fit by an eye doctor. Store-bought contact lenses will not fit well and can cause abrasions and infections to the eye’s cornea. In some cases, these injuries can be serious enough to cause permanent eye damage.

Have a Plan if Your Child Gets Lost

Make sure your child knows the emergency 911 number. Coordinate in advance with known neighbors who are willing to act as “safe houses” if your child becomes lost during trick-or-treating.

No Eating Candy Until Opened by an Adult

It is important that children know not to accept unwrapped candy, fruit, or baked goods from anyone. All candy needs to be inspected for intact wrappers before a child can indulge.

Never Enter a House for a Treat

All candy should be given outside of a house. No child should enter a house or apartment to get a treat.

Know Your Child’s Allergies and Have Medication on Hand

If your child has food allergies, Halloween candy can sometimes be a hidden source of allergens. It’s important to have their EpiPen on hand, as well as any inhalers if prescribed. At the first sign of any allergic symptom, your child should be taken home and evaluated to see if medical intervention is needed.

author name

Joan B. Thode, MD

Joan B. Thode, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician with LG Health Physicians Roseville Pediatrics.
Education: Undergraduate—Franklin & Marshall College; Medical School—George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Residency—NYU Langone Medical Center.

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