- Always trick or treat with a buddy (or adult)
- Stick to well-lit, familiar areas
- Tell your kids to not go into a stranger's home
- Be extra careful at dusk when visibility is hard for drivers
- Set a curfew
- Review street safety including crossing the street, sticking in the sidewalk, and walk - don't run.
- Make sure wigs, clothing accessories, & costumes are fire resistant. Remember kids will be close to flames in Jack o lanterns, so use materials that aren't flammable or have dangling edges!
- Fasten reflective tape to your child's costume
- Make sure kids can see out of their masks or better yet, use face paints
- Use non-toxic Halloween make up & facepaint
- Stay away from shoes that are too big or clothing that's too long
- Avoid fall and make sure your child can walk freely in their costume
- Carry a flashlight (& check the batteries!) or glow stick
- Make sure props are flexible, made out of foam, don't have sharp edges and swords and guns are made from cardboard. Stay away from plastic as kids can still accidentally hurt someone.
- Pin a piece of paper with the child's name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the trick-or-treater gets lost or separated from the group
- Avoid having your child's name outwardly displayed - a stranger could call it out and act familiar
- And as always, talk to your child about the dangers of talking to strangers
- Practice street safety (see our pedestrian safety tips here)
- Don't look down at cell phones
- Avoid displaying valuables. Theives wil use this as an opportunity to hide behind masks
- Avoid pooly lit areas
- Clear stoops and sidewalks of any debris to prevent falls
- Keep jack o lanterns away from doors and walkways (and anything that can catch on fire) or better yet, choose battery-powered lights over candles
- Check kids’ candy for choking hazards and keep away from small children and pets (especially no chocolate for dogs - TRUST US on this one!)
- To make trick-or-treating safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat for kids:
- Give children an early meal before going out
- Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten, especially if your child has food allergies
- Don't accept anything homemade, unless you know the baker well
- Don't accept any loose candy or sweets out of their original packaging
- Although random tampering is very rare (so rare, it's never actually happened), don't eat anything not wrapped. When in doubt, throw it out
- If after eating a Halloween treat there is evidence that it may have been tampered with, or it has a strange taste, or if a child feels sick, parents or guardians can call the NYC Health Department's Poison Control Center. The Poison Control Center is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, for emergencies and advice at (212) POISONS (764-7667), (212) VENENOS (836-3667) for Spanish language speakers, or (212) 689-9014 for TDD users. The National toll free number, 1-800-222-1222, connects to the nearest poison control center.
- Make your treats inclusive for children with food allergies! See below:
Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project?
The Teal Pumpkin Project is to help communities support kids with food allergies during Halloween. Simply pick up some non-food treats (think bubbles, stickers, mini note pads/ erasers, glowsticks) to provide, amd paint a pumpkin teal along with a sign to show you have non-food treats available.
There are many children with disabilities that you might not be aware of. Be kind and accepting. Remember:
- The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy could have poor fine motor skills
- The child who takes a long time taking a piece candy could lack motor planning skills.
- The child who doesn't say "thanks" or "trick-or-treat" could be non-verbal
- The child who looks disappointed when he/she sees your bowl could be diabetic or have allergies
- The child not in costume might be on the autistic spectrum or have sensory issues (SPD)