Halloween Safety After Dark - PIH Health

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Published on October 29, 2015

Halloween Safety After Dark: For Kids of All Ages

girl getting ready for halloween

Mom walking with kids on HalloweenHalloween is meant to be scary, but it’s also meant to be safe. And since trick-or-treating and many of the occasion's festivities take place at or after dark, it's important to do a little bit of preparation ahead of time and make sure that kids of all ages exercise good judgment. That way, the scares stay fun.

Choose Costumes Wisely

Smart costume choices set the stage for a safe Halloween. Follow these tips to avoid unsafe outfits:

  • Whether you buy a costume or make one yourself, the safest are made from flame-retardant materials and feature bright colors.
  • If your child will be trick-or-treating outdoors after dark, attach reflective tape to his or her costume or treat bag.
  • If a costume is too small, it could be constricting, making movement difficult. A little extra room is also helpful in case it gets chilly outdoors and warm layers are needed underneath. But don’t go overboard. Oversized clothes can cause kids to trip and fall, especially if oversized shoes or high heels are involved.
  • Watch out for clunky masks which could obstruct your child's vision. Kid-friendly, non-toxic makeup is a good alternative.
  • Pointy props and fake weapons like wands, swords and knives might pose safety hazards. Inspect any such items carefully before okaying their use.

Light Up the Night

To navigate safely and stay visible to motorists, kids may need to bring along their own illumination, especially if Halloween happens to fall on a cloudy, moonless night.

  • Give kids flashlights. Don’t forget to check the batteries ahead of time! 
  • Glow sticks, bracelets, and necklaces are another great option. Reflective tape is a handy solution and can be affixed to almost any surface.
  • If you plan to hand out the candy at your house on Halloween, leave a porch light on and make sure that all walkways and steps are clear and visible for trick-or-treaters.

Safe Walking Tips

Here is some advice for safe walking that works for everyone, whether older kids out on their own or the whole family together:

  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Cross streets at corners and crosswalks only.
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing any street, and keep looking as you cross.
  • When crossing, walk, don’t run.
  • Never assume that vehicles will stop. If possible, make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always obey all traffic signals. 
  • Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep your eyes up when walking.
  • Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Never walk through unlit alleys or across darkened lawns.

By following these important tips, you can help ensure that you and your kids have a safe and happy Halloween!


The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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