Halloween Safety Tips

October 26, 2023

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Trick or treat! It’s that time of the year again, when kids hit the streets in their spookiest costumes in search of sweet goodies and holiday fun. Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year for children as they walk around their neighborhood decked out in magical costumes while collecting candy treats. Safety tips are not something we may think of right away when we think of Halloween and your little trick-or-treaters are undoubtedly more concerned about the candy, they will collect than their safety. Halloween can be a stressful time for parents, as we worry about our children’s safety. Whether your child is a firefighter, superhero, or princess, the Denver Health Trauma and Injury Prevention Program would like to make this Halloween both fun and safe by following these safety tips:


  • Children should carry flashlights and their costumes should be light-colored and have reflective tape to highlight them, Candy bags should be marked with reflective tape as well.
  • Before purchasing a costume, be sure all parts of the costume are labeled flame retardant.
  • To avoid falls, costumes should not have trailing material or tails that drag to the ground.
  • Pointed objects such as swords and devils’ forks should be made of soft material.
  • Even the safest mask can impede a child’s peripheral vision. The best option is to use non-toxic face paint or makeup. If your child must wear a mask, make sure the eye holes on your child’s mask are large enough for her to see through clearly.

Trick or Treating
  • Adults should always accompany children under 12. If possible, take the little ones out early (before dusk). If older children are going out without you, go over the ground rules first! Check with your town hall for alternate events or assigned trick-or-treat hours.
  • Have children stay in a group and know what neighborhoods they will be in. Discuss a time when they should be home.
  • Use sidewalks and only cross at the corners. Cover one side of the street at a time. Be extremely careful around traffic: many children (and adults) are struck by cars on Halloween. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Only approach houses that are well-lit and never go inside a stranger’s home.
  • Be careful around candles and open flames that are used as outdoor decorations.
  • Bring their bags home to be checked by an adult before eating a single treat. This is especially important for children with food allergies!

Checking Treats
  • Inspect all treats closely and throw out anything that appears unwrapped or tampered with. Be cautious with home-made foods or home-packaged foods unless you trust the source.
  • Take away treats that are not age appropriate. Young children can choke on things like hard candy or peanuts. Be alert for items that may cause an allergic reaction.

Poison Safety Tips
  • Glow sticks are fun and add that extra special affect to costume but remind children not to chew on or break open glow sticks or any other glow-in-the-dark products. While the liquid is minimally toxic, it is very irritating to eyes, mouth, and skin. Folks often describe a strong burning sensation. Should an exposure occur we advise calling the Poison Control for immediate advice. Also, never microwave the products.
  • Face paint while nontoxic paints are typically fine for most, others can have reactions. Always test the makeup on a small area (preferably the arm) to check any skin irritation or allergic reactions. Avoid decorating the face or body with products that are not intended for the skin. Always throw out any makeup that has a very bad smell; this could be a sign of contamination.
  • Dry Ice can often be found at parties and part of the decorations. Handle dry ice properly and carefully. Do not allow child to handle to dry ice. Oral/skin exposure or ingestion of dry ice can cause significant damage. Do not store dry ice in the freezer or an unventilated area.

For additional information on Halloween safety, please contact Missy Anderson at 303-602-7623 or Melissa.Anderson@dhha.org

For any questions on poison safety or if you know someone how has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance, call the Poison Help line immediately at 1-800-222-1222