Photo credit: Dorothy C. Lee

Photo credit: Dorothy C. Lee

Fall is in the air. Cooler weather brings thoughts and plans for hayrides, carnivals, festivals, trick-or-treat, and more fun. Halloween may be a fun holiday for kids, but for parents, trick-or-treat time can be a little tricky. Concerns about children’s safety, whether they are out in the neighborhood or back home with bags of loot, could darken the festivities. But not to worry. To make Halloween a treat for all, follow these safety tips.

Costume Safety

  •  Make sure children dress up safely. Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.
  • Try makeup instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable and can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • If the children will be in costumes, keep these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in mind:
    • Costumes should be made of flame-retardant materials.
    • Decorate or trim costumes and goodie bags with reflective tape or decals so that children are visible at night to motorists. Reflective tape is available at most costume shops, sporting goods stores, and hardware stores.

Trick or Treat Safety

  • Make sure older children trick or treat with friends.
  • Children should stop only at familiar homes where outside lights are on.
  • Make sure someone in the group has a flashlight and choose only well-lighted streets to go on.

Check the Treats

  • Adults should check all treats. Parents should emphasize that no treats should be eaten until they get home and the treats have been checked. Parents should allow only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. When in doubt, throw it out!

Treats for Parents to Give

  • Try some of these not-so-sweet treats—roasted nuts, pretzels, popcorn, pumpkin seeds.
  • Consider giving inexpensive non-edible treats. Some non-food items to consider include stickers, snack coupons to a fast-food restaurant, novelty items such as magic tricks, finger puppets, yo-yos, little bottles of bubbles, and small games. Party stores and discount stores are great sources for non-food items.

Whether you opt for putting on a party, “trunk” trick or treating, participating in the local mall festivities, or door-to-door trick or treating, Halloween can be a lot of fun for parents and children. Just remember the tricks and treats of playing it safe.

For further information, visit the University of Florida Solutions for Your Life website,

References: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,


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