Beyond Unwrapped Candy: Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips You May Not Have Considered

No one loves trick-or-treating more than I do. C’mon, free candy?!?! Sign me … err, my kids up!

As much as my kids live for the annual tradition of dressing up and wandering the streets at night in the hopes of taking candy from strangers, safety is always my first concern.

We all know not to eat loose candy, but there’s actually so much more to trick-or-treat safety. In researching ways to best protect my kids this Halloween, I learned some very valuable safety tips worth sharing. Take a look on how to best protect your little goblins this Halloween — after the jump!

  • image-293 1 of 17

    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Beware of vision obstruction 2 of 17
    Beware of vision obstruction
    Costume masks and eyewear can block vision. Consider using non-toxic face paint instead of a Halloween mask to eliminate potential risk.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Consider costume length 3 of 17
    Consider costume length
    To reduce the risk of trips and falls, shorten any costume dresses, robes, and capes that present a potential hazard.
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  • Costume props and weaponry 4 of 17
    Costume props and weaponry
    Costume props and weaponry should be soft and flexible to prevent injury.
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  • Flame-resistant costumes 5 of 17
    Flame-resistant costumes
    Candles and luminaries on walkways and front porches present a fire risk to trick-or-treaters so make sure your child's costume is flame-resistant. Be sure to educate your child on the dangers of open flames.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • image-310 6 of 17

    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Plan your route 7 of 17
    Plan your route
    Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods to avoid the risk of getting lost or injured in an unfamiliar place. Refrain from walking in areas under construction.
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  • Go online 8 of 17
    Go online
    Visit your state's website for registered sex offenders in your area and plan your trick-or-treat route accordingly.
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  • Use best pedestrian practices 9 of 17
    Use best pedestrian practices
    Always use sidewalks and designated crosswalks. Walk, never run from house to house and avoid using shortcuts.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Make it a group activity 10 of 17
    Make it a group activity
    Young trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult. Older kids should trick-or-treat in large groups on a designated route.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Be seen 11 of 17
    Be seen
    Each child should carry a flashlight and/or glow sticks to help them see and be seen. Consider using reflective tape on costumes and treat bags for added visibility.
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    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Do not visit dark houses 13 of 17
    Do not visit dark houses
    Avoid dark houses in favor of well-lit homes and front porches clearing celebrating the Halloween spirit.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Do not take rides from strangers 14 of 17
    Do not take rides from strangers
    Never take a stranger up on an offer to take you trick-or-treating elsewhere.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Do not enter… 15 of 17
    Do not enter...
    ...strangers' houses, garages, or backyards.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Do not approach unfamiliar animals 16 of 17
    Do not approach unfamiliar animals
    Never assume neighborhood animals or pets are friendly.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Do not eat loose candy 17 of 17
    Do not eat loose candy
    Never consume loose or personally packaged candy. Stick with factory wrapped treats and examine candy packaging for evidence of tampering.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

For additional Halloween health and safety tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Do you have any trick-or-treat safety tips to add?

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