halloween safety

12 Halloween Safety Tips from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Halloween safety is a MUST if we want to keep our little ghouls and goblins healthy and strong. While this is a spooky time of year, it can quickly turn downright scary with an unexpected trip to the emergency center.

Two of the most common Halloween injuries that experts see at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital are kids being hit by a car or bicycle while trick-or-treating and accidental ingestions of glow sticks and glow jewelry.

Rachel Dawkins, M.D., medical director of the pediatric and adolescent medicine clinic at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, shares easy things you can do to keep your child safe this Halloween.

12 Halloween Safety Tips for Kids

  1. Children under 12 should have adult supervision while trick-or-treating.
  2. Make sure that your kids are obeying traffic laws as they go from house to house—many kids get so excited that they dart across the streets without looking.
  3. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas, go in groups, carry a cell phone for emergencies and have a planned time to be home. 
  4. Remind kids not to chew on or break open glow sticks. If a child does ingest some of the material inside a glow-in-the-dark product, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
  5. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape and use light colors if possible. It makes children easier to see for passing motorists.
  6. Avoid masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision, and consider using face paint instead. Be sure to check the face paint ingredients for any possible skin allergies.
  7. Give kids a flashlight to carry to help them see and be seen.
  8. Make sure your child’s costume fits—this can prevent trips and falls.
  9. Inspect the candy and only allow kids to eat treats in original, unopened wrappers.
  10. Make sure none of the candy would be a choking hazard for your child.
  11. Think about limiting the number of pieces your child can have per day. Consider rationing the candy over the following days or even donating the candy.
  12. Keep candy and chocolate up and away from smaller children and pets.

Finally, it’s also very important for drivers to keep in mind that even if they see kids crossing the street, the kids may not see them simply because they are excited and may not be paying attention. 

“If you are out driving, make sure to be extra vigilant on the roads,” says Dawkins. “We want everyone to have fun on Halloween, but above all – safety comes first.”  

Some of our favorite ways at Tampa Bay Parenting to make your child more noticeable when out trick-or-treating:

  • Try to go trick-or-treating just before sunset so it’s not too dark during our adventure.
  • Have your child wear a glow stick necklace or bracelet. (But please don’t attempt to open the glow stick…)
  • Tape reflective tape on your child’s costumes.
  • Place a flashlight inside your child’s candy bag.
  • Go trick-or-treating with a group and make sure the kids understand they need to stay close to their friends and not run ahead of the parents.
  • Bring your own bright flashlight and place lights and lanterns inside a wagon filled with water and healthy treats as you follow the kids around the neighborhood.
  • Opt to go trick-or-treating a special event like the Halloween events at Busch Gardens or even other fun trick-or-treating events in Tampa Bay like the 6th Annual Trick-or-Treating on the River Walk in Tampa and Halloween on Central in St. Pete.