Most Halloween safety tips fall into a few general categories:
Physical Harm -- Tripping, falling, resulting in broken bones, eye injuries, bruises, cuts, scrapes. Danger from automobiles.
Fire Danger -- Costumes catching on fire; Jack o' Lanterns with candles igniting costumes or objects.
Stranger Danger -- Harm, abduction or poisoning by strangers is uncommon but nonetheless a real danger.
Here are a few safety tips to consider during the Halloween season while trick-or-treating, attending parties, haunted houses and other festivities. This list is not complete, and only highlights the most common safety problems. You can find more tips from the links at the bottom of this page.
Physical Harm (Automobiles)
Important Fact – According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pedestrian accidents are the most common injuries that children suffer on Halloween night.
Increase Your Visibility – Carry a flashlight. Wear bright costumes with reflective markings. Glow rings increase visibility, and they're fun to wear. You can buy them as necklaces, or in shorter lengths for bracelets. They can be stored for at least a year, so they can be used for other occasions like the Fourth of July, birthdays and more. You can get them on Amazon, at Target or from other stores.
Limit Your Exposure to Vehicles – Walk on sidewalks and designated pedestrian areas, not on the street. Cross the street in a crosswalk or at an intersection. Before you cross, look left, then look right, then look left again before proceeding onto the street.
Drive Safely on Halloween Night – Expect an increase in pedestrian activity (especially children) in any neighborhood, or on any street, Including major streets. As always, arrange a designated driver *before* you start to party.
Physical Harm (Accidents)
Make sure the costume fits and is suited for the purpose – Costumes that are too long might trip a child. Costumes that are too loose could slide down and trip a child. Masks can obstruct a child's vision and lead to accidents.
Don't run; Walk from one location to the next.
Use common sense while visiting home haunts and other private Halloween events. Some of the activities are promoted by individuals who might not have professional construction experience, training for emergencies, safety equipment, insurance and other things you would expect from a professionally sponsored event. So it's up to you to assess the suitability and safety of each attraction. If a haunted attraction or event does not seem safe to you, then find another one. There are over 100 listed here!
Costume fabric should be made of flame-resistant material.
Use caution with Jack-o-lanterns or other decorations that are lighted with candles. Consider using battery-operated LED lamps instead of candles.
Be Cautious of Strangers – No one (whether adult, teen or child) should trick-or-treat alone. Only visit lighted dwellings. Never go inside a house unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Be polite to strangers, yet show the same caution as any other night. An adult should check candy before anyone eats it.
Stay in Your Comfort Zone – Stick to familiar areas that you know are safe. Plan your route in advance and make sure others know where you will be. Take a cell phone.
Young children should be supervised by an adult – Obviously, right? But the difficult part is to determine at what age to let them go alone. Our answer: You can't trick or treat with your kids forever, so go with them as long as you can.
Halloween Safety Links
There are literally dozens of web pages on the internet dedicated to Halloween safety (including this page). Below you will find a list of some of them, especially those that are relative to Los Angeles. You probably already know most of this information, but please take a few moments to look through the tips and links below for a refresher, especially if you have children.