Halloween Safety Tips for Kids and Teens

Remember Halloween in the old days? When the only word of caution from your folks was not to eat any unwrapped candy from strangers? If you’re a parent now with kids of your own, things are a bit different. Not only has the danger of getting a mouthful of tainted candy not gone away, there are a whole mess of other concerns to be worried about.

One of the biggest threats to kids are the dangers that cars pose to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. According to Safe Kids USA, twice as many children are killed by cars on Halloween night than on any other night of the year. There are three factors contributing:

  • Drivers under the influence
  • Kids darting out into the street when cars are approaching
  • Costumes that are too dark to be seen by drivers, drunk, sober, or otherwise

Top 6 safety tips for kids on Halloween

So what’s the answer? Even if your kids are old enough to trick-or-treat on their own, they still need help from parents to ensure that when they leave the house, they have everything they need to stay safe. Consider these tips:

  1. Be sure your child takes a working flashlight along or a healthy supply of glow sticks to ensure they’re plainly visible from near or afar.
  2. Don’t let your kids leave home without a working, fully charged cell phone so they can dial 911 or call for help in the event of an emergency.
  3. Remind your kids to walk only on sidewalks and to take extra caution when crossing streets.
  4. Insist that any costume your child wears while trick-or-treating doesn’t impede their vision. If they can’t see where they’re going, they’re that much more likely to wander into traffic.
  5. Don’t send your kids out trick-or-treating by themselves. If they don’t have a group of pals to go with, go with them. If they resist because they don’t want to be seen with mom or dad, wear a costume. It’s Halloween; you can get away with it.
  6. Impose a curfew for your older kids and have them stick to a certain pre-planned route so you’ll know their approximate whereabouts at all times.

Halloween safety: A shared responsibility

Obviously, ensuring safety on Halloween isn’t entirely up to the kids doing the trick-or-treating. If you’re going to be out on the road on Halloween night, keep your eyes peeled and be hyper-vigilant for kids who might not have been familiarized with the tips above. Slow it down, especially when driving through suburban neighborhoods, and never assume that a child in a costume can see you. Remember, not everyone is as cautious with their kids on Halloween as you might be.