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10 Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

For young children, Halloween night is one of the best of the year. But trick-or-treating can be dangerous if kids and parents aren’t careful. Take a look at some vital trick-or-treating tips before you accompany your child.

Little children trick or treating on

Plan a route in advance

Trick-or-treating could take you several streets away from your house, which can cause sore legs and a bit of frustration. Avoid long paths by mapping out a route before leaving the house. Stick to paths that you and your child are familiar with to avoid getting lost. Find out if you live in one of the best neighborhoods in America for trick-or-treating.

Diverse kids in Halloween

Use the buddy system

As your children get a little older, they may not want their parents tagging along while they trick-or-treat. You know your kids the best, of course, but most Halloween safety tips recommend that parents accompany children under 12. If your older child is venturing out without you, make sure that he or she will be with at least a few friends the entire night. And don’t leave anyone alone—if some of the more adventurous kiddos can’t wait to check out the neighbor’s spooky haunted house display, but one of the children is a bit more reticent, make sure someone agrees to stay with him or her, at a designated place, before everyone takes off. Prepare for trick-or-treaters–these are the best deals on Halloween candy out there.

Young kids trick or treating during

Stay on the sidewalk

Your kids know not to stray into the road when they’re walking to school. But on Halloween, when kids are running amok all over the neighborhood from house to house, it may seem like all bets are off. It’s essential to make sure that your kids are still following basic safety rules, like staying on the sidewalks and looking both ways before crossing the street. On busier roads, be sure to use the crosswalk and make absolutely sure that any approaching drivers can see you. Be careful about sprinting across unfamiliar lawns, too; in the dark, it can be tricky to see decorations or other tripping hazards lurking in the yard. Check out these surprising facts you never facts you never knew about Halloween candy.

Little kids at a Halloween

Wear comfy shoes

Make sure you and your children are in comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Girls in dresses should avoid heels, and all shoelaces should be double-tied to avoid tripping in the dark while wearing some of these most popular Halloween costumes. 

Group of kids with Halloween costumes walking to trick or

Stay well-lit

No matter how cool your child’s costume may be, it shouldn’t forego safety. If the costume is dark in color, apply reflective tape to your child’s costume to ensure they are seen by drivers on the road. Also, carry a flashlight with you to keep your child’s path lit at all times. Here are some great ideas for DIY kids’ Halloween costumes that won’t strain your budget.

Young kids trick or treating during

Make sure all costumes are short

Long costumes that drag on the ground can be dangerous, especially at night. After purchasing your child’s costume, make sure it’s an appropriate length, and hem anything that’s too long to avoid tripping.

Little children trick or treating on

Avoid masks

Masks might look cool, but you should proceed with caution since they don’t really adhere to most Halloween safety tips. Many masks can make it difficult for your child to see or breathe. If possible, skip the mask altogether and use non-toxic make-up to complete the costume instead. Here are some great Halloween makeup looks that you can do yourself (or for your kids).

Little children trick or

Use flexible props

Try to avoid costumes that have weapons as accessories. But if your child’s costume won’t be complete without a weapon, make sure it is rubber or plastic. Choose a prop that won’t cause injury to your child or their friends. When you get home from trick-or-treating, or just to prep for the big day, add these kids’ Halloween movies to your itinerary.

Little children in Halloween

Be mindful of the candy you hand out

Halloween safety tips don’t just apply to your own children. If your neighborhood has a lot of tiny tots, you might want to steer clear of candies like Everlasting Gobstoppers or Skittles, which could present a choking hazard. If you yourself have a child under the age of three, make sure you check their candy haul and remove anything they could choke on, too. And don’t forget that not all kids can safely eat every type of candy. Opt for regular M &M’s rather than peanut ones to avoid triggering any peanut allergies. If you buy a variety pack of mini candy bars that includes Snickers, maybe skip the peanut-filled bars in your treat bowl. (Hey, there’s an excuse to eat them yourself!)

Little children trick or treating on

Check your child’s candy

When sorting through candy at the end of the night, be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened. Halloween safety tips are important, but you should make sure you’re following these lesser-known Halloween etiquette rules, too.

[Sources: Halloween Web,, Kaboose]

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest