Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

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Well before:

  • Don’t buy treats to give out which could be a choking hazard (e.g., gum, peanuts, hard candies, small toys) or which are not securely wrapped
  • Determine if any registered sex offenders live nearby, e.g., familywatchdog.us
  • Determine if trick or treating hours have been established for your community/neighborhood, e.g., internet search

If trick-or-treating hours have not been established for your community/neighborhood:

  • Try to have trick-or-treating hours established for your community/neighborhood (so residents can be ready and will know that trick-or-treaters before or after the established hours are probably not from the local neighborhood


  • Choose a fire-safe (e.g., flame retardant, flame resistant) costume, wig, etc.
  • Ensure costume isn’t too baggy (but is loose enough to allow free movement) and is short enough (e.g., above the ankles) to prevent tripping
  • Plan to wear comfortable shoes
  • Ensure your costume will keep you warm enough, e.g., during trick or treating at night
  • Consider having a jacket, scarf, mittens and/or wool cap with you in case you get cold
  • Try to use bright colors for visibility by drivers – More American child pedestrians die on Halloween from cars than on any other day of the year
  • Use face makeup instead of a mask when feasible
  • If wearing a mask, ensure it allows sufficient visibility (e.g., large eye holes to see out of ) and breathing (e.g., large holes for the mouth and nose)
  • If wearing a hat, ensure it won’t slide down and obstruct vision
  • Avoid unsafe accessories, e.g., plastic swords, knives, other sharp items
  • Consider accessories made of cardboard, etc.
  • Consider putting reflective tape on the back and front of the costume
  • To see which costumes are most popular in your area: frightgeist.withgoogle.com


  • Drive very slowly in any area where trick or treaters might be present – more American child pedestrians die on Halloween from cars than on any other day of the year
  • Watch carefully for children in the street and on sidewalks or medians getting ready to cross the street
  • Remember that children in costumes might not be able to see oncoming vehicles
  • Remember that some children may be in dark costumes which may be hard to spot
  • Be especially careful entering and exitting driveways, alleys, etc.

General (e.g., parties):

  • Stay well clear of candles and open fires (e.g., campfires) – costumes might catch fire easily
  • Be very careful about any pranks – someone might not realize it’s a prank and someone could get hurt

Trick or Treating:

Receiving trick or treaters:

  • Clear your yard, driveway, walkway, porch, etc. of obstructions, trip hazards, etc.
  • Leave your porch light on – so trick or treaters won’t trip on steps, etc.
  • Only give properly-wrapped treats

Going trick or treating:

  • Have dinner beforehand
  • Plan to go as early as feasible, before it gets too dark
  • Young children should go with an adult
  • For older children going without an adult, ensure an adult knows the route they will be taking, establish a meeting place in case anyone gets separated, and, set a time they need to return by
  • Take a cell phone and/or coins for a pay phone
  • Take one or more flashlights and extra batteries, and/or, glow sticks
  • Do not take a candle, e.g., inside a jack-o-lantern
  • Take a whistle – so others can find you
  • Take a sturdy bag, e.g., canvas bag, pillow case
  • Take a water bottle – so you don’t get dehydrated
  • Make it clear that children are not to eat any treats until an adult inspects them for signs of tampering (e.g., pinholes in wrappers, loose wrapping)
  • Consider only going to the houses of people you know or in neighborhoods you are familiar with
  • Do not accept treats from anyone in a vehicle
  • Do not get into the vehicle of anyone you don’t know
  • Don’t run
  • Stay on sidewalks
  • Avoid walking across lawns, etc.
  • Don’t cross a street until your entire group is ready to cross together
  • Avoiding crossing the street at other than safe intersections
  • Do not cross the street between parked cars
  • Before crossing the street, look left, right and left again
  • Stay away from candles and open fires (e.g., campfires) – costumes might catch fire easily
  • Only go to houses which have a porch light on or Halloween decorations lit
  • Do not go inside any houses without an adult you know
  • If you have a choice, don’t accept treats which are not properly-wrapped (if you receive treats which are not properly wrapped, discard them after trick or treating)

More info:


Thanks for reading!