Keep Safe This Halloween Season With These Safety Tips

Tips on Halloween safety while carving pumpkins, choosing costumes, and working with anxious pets

By Macaroni KID October 19, 2023

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids. You certainly don't want that excitement to end with an accident. To help ensure your little ghosts and goblins have the safest holiday possible, we have compiled tips to keep in mind during the month of spooky fun.

From costume planning to carving pumpkins, we have all the ways to keep Halloween safe for your kids. Plus, we also included tips on keeping the holiday safe for your pets.

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Costume planning

  • Encourage your child to avoid costumes with bulky full-face masks as they can block eyesight. Instead, opt for makeup or well-fitting partial masks.
  • Costumes should be bright and reflective. For greater visibility, add reflective tape to both bags and costumes.
  • Check labels on all costumes and accessories and make sure they are clearly marked flame-retardant.
  • Avoid accessories with sharp ends. Tripping while carrying something sharp could result in a serious injury.
  • To avoid a surprise reaction to makeup, test ahead of time in a small area.
  • Remove all costumes and makeup before going to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.

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Pet safety

  • Dress your four-legged family members in costume only if they enjoy the Halloween spirit and don't mind being in clothes. Costuming a reluctant pet can cause undue stress on a night that may already be full of doorbell and dress-up anxiety.
  • Keep the chocolate AWAY from your pets! With so much delicious candy lying around on Halloween, your pet may be tempted to help himself. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs or cats. Dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and cocoa powder are especially dangerous and can lead to kidney failure in pets who have a sensitivity to the food.
  • Sugar-free candies that contain Xylitol can make your pets sick, as can pumpkin.
  • Keep your pets on a leash at all times while trick-or-treating, and be especially watchful around candles and jack-o-lanterns to make sure they don't singe their fur.
  • Secure your pets before opening the front door to trick-or-treaters to make sure they don't make a run for it or inadvertently trip up an invading tiny zombie or ghoul.

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Carving pumpkins

  • For small children, painting pumpkins is much safer than carving. Try one of these 4 no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas.
  • Pumpkin carving kits are perfect for kids and adults. The small, serrated pumpkin saws in the kits are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin flesh and they are not sharp enough to create a deep wound in the skin.
  • Avoid using candles to light your pumpkin. Battery-operated lights are easier and safer.

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Just treats, no tricks

  • Never send your child out alone to trick-or-treat. Younger children should always be accompanied by at least one trusted adult, and older kids should remain in groups when haunting the neighborhood.
  • If you have older children who will be going with friends, plan a route and set a time they must be home. Make sure they know to only go to homes with a porch light on and to never go inside for their treat.
  • Warn your children to steer clear of flames, such as jack-o-lanterns with real candles inside or votive candles lining walkways.
  • Keep an eye out when crossing the street. Just because you see the car coming, doesn't mean the driver can see you.
  • Carry a flashlight to see and be seen after the sun goes down.
  • Examine all Halloween treats before your children consume them.

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Safety tips for motorists

  • The National Safety Council recommends discouraging new and inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
  • Watch for children walking (and running!) all over the place. There's a good chance the excitement of the evening will distract them from being alert to moving vehicles.
  • Use extra caution when entering and exiting driveways and alleys.

A little Halloween safety goes a long way in making an October full of fun memories for everyone!