Halloween is just around the corner! Whether you have plans to go Trick-or-Treating in your awesome costume or stay home and watch movies, there are ways to make sure the night goes smoothly. While this list is primarily aimed at keeping kids safe, many of these rules apply to adults, too. So have fun and above all, stay safe! Here are the Do’s and Don’ts on Halloween night.
Staying Visible While Trick-or-Treating
DO: Make sure kids wear bright colors so drivers can see them.
DO: Add adhesive reflective material to dark clothing. Amazon has many options.
DO: Use a white pillowcase or Trick-or-Treat bag to stay visible to drivers.
DO: Carry a flashlight so that drivers can see you. You can also put a LED light (or several LED candle lights) in a Trick-or-Treat bucket.
DO: Stay in well-lit areas with other Trick-or-Treaters.
DON’T: Walk in unlit areas.
DON’T: Run across the street.
DON’T: Go into strangers’ houses while alone or unsupervised.
DON’T: Take shortcuts if they take you out of view of your group or the rest of your fellow Trick-or-Treaters. Evil clowns could be out there…
Staying Safe on Halloween Night
DO: Importantly, supervise children 12 and under on Halloween.
DO: Make sure unsupervised kids have a buddy system of groups of 3 or more.
DO: Set a curfew and ensure that children check in directly at that time. If they do not check in, have an emergency plan, i.e., call the authorities if necessary.
DO: Instruct children to use sidewalks and crosswalks. Further, if none are available, make sure they walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
DO: Teach kids about hand signals before crossing streets so that they can cross safely when there are no crosswalks.
DO: Hold younger children’s hands or bring a stroller, carriage, or other device in case they get tired. Young children may make sudden movements or attempt to run in dangerous, trafficked areas. Make sure you have them under control at all times as they can be unpredictable.
DO: Make a route plan and correspondingly stick to it. Children without adults absolutely need to let their parents/guardians know exactly where they are going.
DO: Have children carry a cell phone to keep in touch with adults. Walkie talkies are also good for groups who might get separated. Amazon has many good options.
DO: Tell children to abstain from eating Halloween candy and treats until they’ve been inspected by an adult. Remember that taffy, gum, and hard candy can all lead to choking.
DO: Inspect all candy and treats prior to eating. Look for openings or rips in the wrappers, sharp objects, or any abnormal signs that could indicate foul play. Above all, if in any doubt at all, throw it away.
DO: Make sure that anyone with food allergies carries an EpiPen. Inform anyone giving out candy about your food allergy if necessary.
DON’T: Stray from the route or the plan. If you have a time and place to meet up with parents or a group, stick to it.
DON’T: Go into unlit areas such as alleyways or forests.
DON’T: Go into strangers’ houses.
DON’T: Get into strangers’ vehicles, no matter how nice they may seem.
DON’T: Stray from your parent, guardian, or group.
DON’T: Stay out later than your curfew.
DON’T: Knock on people’s doors past the appropriate time set by the neighborhood standards.
DON’T: Wear masks. Masks may obstruct vision and can make it harder for you to see vehicles or obstacles such as potholes. Stick to face paint instead. If you must wear a mask, lift it up when walking around.
DON’T: Ingest home-baked goods, fruit, opened beverages, unwrapped candy, or other items that could be drugged or tampered with.
DON’T: Carry props that look like real weapons (i.e., fake handguns).
DON’T: Go Trick-or-Treating if you have COVID. It ain’t cool, yo.
Staying Comfortable While Out on Halloween
DO: Wear or bring extra layers to stay warm. Long underwear can be worn under many costumes.
DO: Bring a rain or snow jacket, umbrella, and/or boots if there is inclement weather. Prolonged exposure to cold and damp weather can lead to hypothermia.
DO: Wear comfortable shoes for walking in.
DO: Make sure any prop weapons such as swords are soft, pliable, and therefore cannot cause any actual harm.
DON’T: Wear long items that can be tripped on, such as capes, long dresses, or other costume pieces that generally drag on the ground.
DON’T: Wear long items that can potentially get stuck in the gears of bicycles, skate boards, strollers, etc., if utilizing wheeled forms of transportation.
DON’T: Forget that temperatures can drop a lot at night! If your costume is skimpy, make sure to bring under layers or outer layers!
Tips for Drivers on Halloween
DO: Drive slowly! Remember that little kids are everywhere, and surely any one of them could dart suddenly in front of your car.
DO: Make sure your lights are on!
DO: Follow all traffic laws and remember that pedestrians always have the right of way. It doesn’t matter how much of a hurry you are in, if you hit someone, you could kill them and you’re basically going to jail.
DO: Make eye contact with pedestrians and, if in doubt, wait until they are completely gone before proceeding. Remember that masks and many costumes can prevent Trick-or-Treaters from utilizing their full peripheral vision. Adjust your driving accordingly.
DON’T: Drive intoxicated. This goes for keeping you and Trick-or-Treaters safe!
DON’T: Make any sudden, sharp turns in residential neighborhoods. Specifically, there may be a child around that corner.
DON’T: Use your phone or other distracting items while driving. If you’re driving on Halloween, you need to stay hyper-vigilant.
Staying Home on Halloween: Keeping You & Your Dwelling Safe
DO: Make it clear whether or not you have treats to give out (i.e., use a sign, lights, decorations, etc.)
DO: Keep your walkways well-lit if offering treats to Trick-or-Treaters.
DO: Add safe Halloween decorations that don’t pose a fire or tripping hazard.
DO: Use LED lights and alternatives to candles in your Jack-O-Lanterns.
DO: Check your yard, pathways, and walkways for tripping hazards, wet leaves, or anything that might cause an accident, and remove them.
DO: Above all, do your part to set a good example. This also means only give out safe treats that are wrapped and won’t get automatically tossed in the trash.
DO: Keep yourself safe. If you live in an unsafe neighborhood, don’t give out treats unless you also have someone with you. Furthermore, you can leave a bin of treats outside of your door if you feel that you need to keep your door locked.
DO: Make sure all pets and animals are inside your home and cannot accidentally get out. Importantly, unrestrained animals could bite a human, get stolen, get into chocolate, or get hit by a car.
DO: Make sure you keep all chocolate and other treats that may be toxic to pets out of their reach.
DO: Remember that some people have allergies and try to stick to candy or treats that more people can eat. Common allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, and soy. (Click here for a more thorough list).
DON’T: Use candles or fire for pumpkins or Halloween decorations, because they’re fire hazards.
DON’T: Keep pets outside on leashes where they could pose a danger to Trick-or-Treaters or be put in danger themselves.
DON’T: Give out baked goods to Trick-or-Treaters since they are generally deemed to be sketchy and easy to tamper with. If you absolutely must share your fabulous pumpkin spice Halloween cookies, save them for your friends or your kids’ friends and only give them to people who know and trust you. You could incidentally be accused of poisoning someone who gets sick, even if you’re not an evil witch doctor.