Shield of Protection® Jack-o'-Lantern Stencil

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Halloween Safety Tips

Costume Cautions:

  • Choosing bright colors makes your child more visible in the dark or adding reflective tape or stickers to their costume.
  • Any store-bought costumes and accessories (masks, beards, wigs) should be labeled “flame resistant.”
  • Avoid oversized clothing that makes it hard to walk and can come in contact with open flames from a jack-o-lantern.
  • Your child should wear comfortable and appropriate footwear.
  • If you allow your child to carry a prop sword or knife, it should be made of soft plastic or rubber so it can bend if your child falls while carrying it.
  • Avoid prop guns as they may cause real panic in a public setting.

Make a plan:

  • Children 12 and under, should be accompanied by a responsible chaperone 14 years of age or older while trick-or-treating.
  • Clothing should be labeled with parent/guardian name, address, and phone number in case parent/guardian and child are separated.
  • If possible, make sure your child has a way to reach you via cell phone.
  • Establish a pre-planned route.
  • Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.
  • Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.

While trick-or-treating:

  • Check if neighbors will be home while it’s still light out and visit houses then if they’re ready for trick-or-treaters.
  • Give your child a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Tell your child to go only to homes with outside lights on.

Practice Street Safety:

  • Remind children of everyday safety tips like looking left, right, and left again before crossing the street, continuing to look as their crosses, and waiting for you at street corners before proceeding.
  • Children should stay on sidewalks at all times. Cutting through people’s yards can lead to accidents when things like clotheslines and other hazards are hard to spot.

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween. 

Before Eating Treats:

  • If your child has food allergies, check candy labels carefully. Even hard candies may be manufactured in facilities that process nuts, milk, soy, wheat, egg, or other allergens. We’ve had reports of children’s first allergy encounters while trick-or-treating with no awareness of what was happening.
  • Children under the age of four shouldn’t have gum, peanuts, popcorn, or hard candy — all are choking hazards.
  • Have your child wait until you’ve inspected treats before eating.
  • Don’t let your child snack while trick-or-treating.
  • Discard anything that’s not sealed, has torn packaging, or looks questionable.

Planning to hand out treats? To make sure you’re ready for trick-or-treaters, follow these tips:

  • Clean up. Put away anything trick-or-treaters could trip over, such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations. Clear wet leaves, snow, or other debris from the sidewalk.
  • Turn the lights on. Replace any burned-out bulbs to ensure good visibility at the walkway and front door.
  • Practice Good Pet Safety. Keep candy away from pets. Chocolate, in all forms, is poisonous to cats and dogs. Pets might be frightened and chase or bite a child at your door, so make sure your pets are kept safely indoors.
PO Box 7819, Wilmington, DE 19803