Children's Hospital Colorado

Halloween Safety Tips for Families

Three kids go trick-or-treating as a fairy with light blue princess dress and gold wings, a witch with black shirt, green skirt and black witch hat, and a witch in a black shirt, pink skirt and black witch hat.

Halloween is supposed to be a night of frights — but only the imaginary kind. To ensure a safe and fun holiday, plan ahead and follow these Halloween safety tips from Children's Hospital Colorado's pediatric experts.

Dangers for pedestrians double on Halloween

On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. On this potentially dangerous night of the year for child pedestrians, Safe Kids Colorado strongly recommends that parents prepare children to behave safely and for drivers to take extra precautions.

The following trick-or-treat safety tips can help ensure a safer celebration of Halloween.

Top Halloween safety tips

  1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try to opt for non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
  2. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  3. When selecting a costume, make sure it’s the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Safe walking reminders for kids

  • Cross the street at corners, and always use traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up.
  • Walk – don’t run – across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. 
  • When walking with kids, choose direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick-or-treat safety tips

  • Make sure that children under 12 trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
  • If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, ask them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and to trick-or-treat in groups.
  • Avoid carrying sticks, swords or other sharp objects.
  • Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded, torn or unwrapped.
  • Read tips from the Denver Police Department about avoiding marijuana edibles on Halloween.

What drivers need to know on Halloween

  • Be especially alert from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., which is the most popular time for trick-or-treating.
  • Slow down even more than posted speed limits in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
  • Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

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