Trick or Treat!

Halloween Safety and Health Tips From Our Pediatric Experts
As the sun goes down and trick-or-treaters start roaming the streets of your neighborhood, there are several things you may worry about as a parent or guardian.
    • Use our Halloween Tip Sheet to help your little ghouls and goblins stay safe and have fun. 
    • See below for several Halloween-specific safety and health tips.

    • Safety Tips

        Halloween is a fun time for children, but it also is an important time to be extra vigilant for possible safety hazards so that your children have a fun and safe Halloween.


        - Avoid costumes with excessive flowing fabric, such as capes or sleeves. Loose clothing can easily brush up against a jack-o-lantern or other open flame, causing your child’s costume to catch on fire.

        - Make sure your child’s costume fits properly. Oversized costumes and footwear, such as clown or adult shoes, can cause your child to trip and fall, bringing them home with more scrapes and bruises than candy. Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.

        - If possible, choose a brightly colored costume that drivers can spot easily. If not, decorate his costume with reflective tape and stickers. Other fun accessories that help children be seen when trick-or-treating in the dark are glow sticks or flashlights. While glow sticks are good for visibility, remember that the liquid in glow sticks is also hazardous, so parents should remind children not to chew on or break them.

        - Accessorize with flexible props, such as rubber swords or knives. Inflexible props can cause serious injury in case of a fall. Choose face paint and make-up whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face, and make sure it is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. If a mask is worn, be certain it fits securely and cut the eye holes large enough for full vision.

        Curfews and Crosswalks

        - Always supervise children under the age of 13. Older children should trick-or-treat in a group, and a curfew should be established for them. Attach the name, address and phone number (including area code) of children under age 13 to their clothes in case they get separated from adults. Have each child carry a cell phone or some loose change in case they need to call home or get lost.

        - Children should only go to well-lit houses and remain on the porch within street view. Teach your child to cross the street only at crosswalks or intersections. Make sure he understands never to cross between parked cars and to always look both ways before crossing. Remind your child to stay on the sidewalk, if possible, and to walk facing traffic. Children should walk, not run, and avoid using shortcuts across backyards or alleys.


        - Remind your child not to eat any treats before you have a chance to examine them thoroughly for holes and punctures. Throw away all treats that are homemade or unwrapped.

        - Parents of food-allergic children must read every candy label in their child’s Halloween bag to avoid a potentially life-threatening situation for the child.

    • Health Tips

        Did You Know?

        On average, a pumpkin full of Halloween candy can have 69 times the recommended daily serving of sugar for kids! Learn more.

        How to Have a Healthy Halloween

        Strong4Life According to Children's experts, no food should ever be off limits. Families should take part in holiday festivities (including Halloween candy) as long as parents remember the Ps and Cs: It’s the parents' job to plan, prep and provide and it’s the child's job to choose.

        - Plan Ahead: Before you know it, little ghosts and goblins will be at your door yelling "trick-or-treat!" What will you be handing out? Plan ahead and consider how you can provide healthier options. Think pretzels, stickers, pencils, plastic spider rings, etc.

        - Provide Healthy Options: Giving out candy is OK, but try to select candies with nutritional value like chocolates (the darker the better) or candies with nuts. Pick the five you think are healthiest and then let your kids choose which candies your family should provide at the door.

        - Prep a Meal in Advance: Sending kids out trick-or-treating on a full stomach decreases the chance they will want to binge on their goodies when they get home, so plan ahead for an easy meal, like a bowl of whole-wheat pasta or a quick peanut butter and banana sandwich. Select a couple of meal ideas and ask your kids to choose which one they would like to eat. You can even prep the meal the night before, which will leave you more time for family fun!

        - Provide Expectations: Talk to your child in advance so you can set expectations about how many pieces of candy will be eaten Halloween night (we recommend between three and five). Let your kids choose the ones they want to eat. When they are part of the process it's easier on everyone.

        - Plan Healthy Parties: Halloween parties at school are lots of fun but they easily become a sugar-fest filled with cupcakes, candies, sodas and juice, so help plan the party or provide input to the room moms.


      Strong4LifeThe scariest part of Halloween is not the costumes or spider webs—it's the amount of fat, sugar and calories consumed by trick-or-treaters. 

      Learn more about healthy habits for your family.