Trick or Treat Safety Tips

With witches, goblins and superheroes descending on neighborhoods across America, the American Red Cross offers parents some safety tips to help prepare children for a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat holiday. Halloween should be filled with surprises and enjoyment, and by following some common sense practices it can be safe and fun.


  • Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Cross the street only at corners.
  • Wear light colored or reflective non-flammable clothing.
  • Carry a flashlight to light your way.
  • Visit homes that have a porch light turned on.
  • Accept your treats at the door and never go into a stranger's house.
  • Use non-toxic face paint rather than masks.
  • Have an adult inspect all treats before eating them. Don't eat candy if the package has already been opened.
  • Small hard candy is a choking hazard for young children.


By using the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) safety suggestions, parents can help ensure that their little Halloween ghosts and goblins will have a bag of goodies and not be haunted by unnecessary injuries.

Halloween related injuries might involve:
1. Eye abrasions from sharp objects attached to masks or costumes.
2. Skin irritation or rashes from some decorative face paints or creams. 
3. Burns from flammable costumes ignited by open flames such as candles and jack-o-lanterns. 

Costumes should be short enough so that children do not trip or fall and they should wear well fitting sturdy shoes. Mother's high heels are not a good idea for safe walking. If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full-vision.

Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes. Extra effort should be taken to eliminate tripping and other hazards on your porch and around your property.

Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft flexible material to prevent injury.
Explore fun alternatives. Ask around your community and check your local newspaper for information on special events.

We hope these tips will help you and your family have a safe and happy Halloween.

American Red Cross
Los Angeles Fire Dept.
Consumer Product
Safety Commission