Injury Research and Policy Halloween Safety Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Halloween Safety

One night a year, goblins, witches and vampires may be seen traveling from house to house in a quest for candy. Halloween is a time for fun for all ages. However, parents, children and community members must remember safety on this day filled with fantasy.

Safety Tips for Parents

  • Be sure your child’s costume is big enough to be worn over warm clothes but isn’t so long he could trip.

  • Bright, colorful costumes that can be seen easily by drivers are best. Choose costume accessories and props that are flame resistant.

  • Shoes should be comfortable and safe for walking.

  • Stick with make-up or face paint for finishing touches to a costume—wigs and masks could block your child’s vision.

  • Always trick-or-treat with your child and visit homes that you know well.

  • Use sidewalks and only cross streets at crosswalks or well lighted intersections. Pedestrian safety is one of the most important concerns on Halloween.

  • Try to finish trick-or-treating before dark. Make sure to have a flashlight handy.

Safe Treats

  • Check all candy before letting your child eat it. Throw away candy that is not properly wrapped.

  • Call the police if you suspect tampering - tasting is not a safe way to test.

  • Fruit should be undamaged, washed and cut before eating.

  • Children should only eat homemade treats if you know and trust the person who made them.

  • Some items, such as gum, nuts, hard candies, seeds or toys with small parts, can be choking hazards. Keep these away from young children.

  • Call the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (1-800-222-1222) if your child swallows something that could be harmful. They are available 24-hours a day.

  • Consider hosting a Halloween party instead of sending kids trick-or-treating.

Safety Tips for Homeowners

  • Paint your pumpkins. Carving knives are dangerous. Also, the candles used inside carved pumpkins are fire hazards.

  • If you do light a jack-o’-lantern this year, keep it away from your front door or porch so little costumes don’t catch fire.

  • Never leave a lit pumpkin unattended.

  • Leave both  indoor and outdoor lights on if you want visits from trick-or-treaters.

  • Clear the walkway to your door of decorations, hoses, toys, wet leaves or other items that could cause a child to slip or trip.

Additional Halloween Safety Information

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000