Costumes and Props
- Costumes should be fire-safe. There should be a flame-resistant or flame-retardant label on store bought costumes, wigs and props (like magic wands, hats, and tails...).
- Be careful if your costume has baggy sleeves or a cape, they could easily catch on fire if you brush against a candle or jack-o-lantern.
- Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.
- Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
- Make your costume is nice and bright so drivers can see you - use retro reflective tape.
- Stay away from open flames (like candles and jack-o-lanterns).
- If your clothes catch fire, make sure to stop, drop, and roll over and over to put the fire out. It’s always a good idea to practice!
Trick-or-treating or Parties
- Carry a glow stick or flashlight.
- Follow the rules of the road. When crossing the street, stop at the curb or edge of the road. Look left, then right, then left again for moving cars before crossing. Kids 10 years old and younger should cross the street with a grown-up.
- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
- Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.
- Only trick-or-treat in well known neighborhoods.
- Visit homes that have the porch light on.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.
- Agree on a specific time when revelers must return home.
- Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.
- Have grown-ups check your candy before you eat it (and don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards)!
- A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
- Adult party-goers should establish and reward a designated driver.
Prepare Your Home for Trick-or-Treaters
- Consider purchasing individually packaged healthy food alternatives (or safe non-food treats) for those who visit your home.
- Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
- Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects, and do not block exit doors.
- While children can help with the fun of designing a Jack O' Lantern, leave the carving to adults.
- Always keep Jack O' Lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.
- Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags. Consult your veterinarian for further advice.
- Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.
No Scaredy Cats - Halloween Tips for Pets
- No tricks, no treats. Candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate and artificially sweetened items can be poisonous to pets.
- Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
- Use extreme caution if you choose to add a candle to a Jack O' Lantern. Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.
- Don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it. For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.
- If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow.
- All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
- When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.
- IDs, please! Make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.