Checklist for Halloween Safety

By: Rene Hopkins, Safe Kids East Central, MCG Children's Medical Center
By: Rene Hopkins, Safe Kids East Central, MCG Children's Medical Center

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls, oh my! But the real dangers on Halloween come from falls, fires and street injuries. Safe Kids East Central, led by the MCG Children’s Medical Center, offers the following tips on how to keep children safe on Halloween.

Costume Safety

  • Decorate costumes, bags and sacks with reflective tape or stickers to help kids stay visible.
  • Make sure costumes fit properly, avoiding those that drag on the ground.
  • Purchase flame-resistant costumes and be careful of long flowing skirts, belts or loose ends that could catch fire.
  • Buy a costume in a light or bright color to ensure better visibility at night.
  • Avoid masks as they can impair a child’s vision. Makeup or nontoxic face paint is a better alternative.
  • Reduce the risk of injury in case your child should trip or fall by purchasing accessories such as knives, swords and other props made of flexible material.
  • Trick or Treating Safety

  • Darting out into the street is one of the most common causes of pedestrian death among children. Remind your children to cross only at intersections and crosswalks, and to stop and look both ways before crossing.
  • Ensure better visibility and decrease the risk of falling by providing trick-or-treaters with flashlights.
  • Teach children to walk, not run, while they’re trick-or-treating.
  • Inspect all candy before kids begin munching. Look for torn or unsealed wrappers. Toss any homemade treats or fruits.
  • Give children a snack before they head out to reduce the temptation to nibble on their recently acquired treats.
  • Safety for All Ages

  • Attach contact information on children’s costumes in case they get separated, and make sure they know their phone numbers.
  • Provide older children with change in case they need to call home.
  • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and on a pre-established route. They should never enter someone’s home. Also, they should be wary of cutting across lawns or yards; yard ornaments and unfamiliar terrain make falling a hazard.
  • Set a time for them to come home.
  • Visibility is important at any age. The most common injuries during Halloween involve pedestrians, so check and double-check that children have reflectors, flashlights and light-colored costumes, all of which keep them visible and safe.
  • And the most important safety tip of all? Go with your children when they’re trick-or-treating. Not only will you have a fun night being scared by the ghosts and goblins, you can also help ensure a safe night as well.

    MCG Health System is composed of three separate organizations -- MCG Health, Inc. and the clinical services offered by the faculty employees of the Medical College of Georgia and the members of the MCG Physicians Practice Group Foundation. The physicians of MCG Health System are community physicians, faculty employees of the Medical College of Georgia, or employees of the MCG Physicians Practice Group Foundation, not employees of MCG Health, Inc.

    MCG Health, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation operating the MCG Medical Center, MCG Children’s Medical Center, the MCG Sports Medicine Center, MCG Ambulatory Care Center, the Georgia Radiation Therapy Center and related clinical facilities and services. MCG Health, Inc. was formed to support the research and education mission of the Medical College of Georgia and to build the economic growth of the CSRA, the state of Georgia and the Southeast by providing an environment for faculty employees of the Medical College of Georgia and the MCG Physicians Practice Group Foundation and community physicians to deliver the highest level of primary and specialty health care. For more information, please visit

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