8 Halloween Safety Tips for Trick or Treating

As pirates, princesses, and zookeepers hit the streets, remember these important safety tips.

Trick or Treating is an American tradition where kids get tons of candy while dressed up in a fun costume. As pirates, princesses, and zookeepers hit the streets, remember these important safety tips.

1. Make sure the costume fits the child properly. Although a long tail or a tight-fitting mask may look amazing, make sure all pieces of the costume fit and are comfortable. Keep skirts and pants at a length that does not cause tripping, and ensure the costume allows for safe shoes. Costumes should also allow children to have their full range of motions for arms, legs, and head to prevent an injury in the event they fall. Masks should not obscure vision as children need to be able to see clearly.

2. Use makeup and hair gel instead of masks. Replace heavy masks with creativity that allows for easier movement and normal fields of vision. Creative makeup easily replaces superhero, animals, and other masks.

3. Add reflectors, headlamps, and glow brackets or necklaces. These help drivers and other people see the child to avoid accidents and also helps families and friends keep track of each other.

4. Be mindful of younger kids. Often, trick or treating starts just before sunset and this is the best time to take younger children. Toddlers and preschoolers, with their parents or guardians, can be the first trick or treaters and gather their candy before the scarier costumes are out and about. If a younger child gets scared of a costume or home decorations, they may bolt in fear and can easily get hurt running down the street.

Baby girl (12-15 months) wearing flower costume, looking away5. Never allow the children to enter a home. Trick or treating should be done on the porch and/or driveway but not in the home. Some neighbors may create haunted houses and ask children to go inside. Unless this is a well-known neighbor and friend, do not enter – it’s best to stay outside.

6. Trick or Treat with friends. Older kids who are participating without direct adult supervision should travel together and tell their parents the route they plan to take. Cell phones can be used to check in periodically. Make sure every child knows the time they are expected back home.

7. Limit your area. Just because you can get a full pillowcase of candy from your neighbors doesn’t mean you should. Trick or treating is fun and getting candy holds great appeal for kids but don’t feel like you have to hit every home in the neighborhood. Set the expectations for younger children on how far you will go. Also, set time limits for older children. Respect that some homes may not participate, so only visit houses with the porch light on, respecting the privacy and property of those who may not be home.

8. Inspect all treats. Before letting children eat any candy, go through their loot and throw out any items that appear to be opened, damaged, repackaged, or homemade. Also, if children have allergies, inspect the ingredients of all candies and treats.

Trick or treating has been a tradition since the Middle Ages, but these modern tips will help keep our children safe.

Do you need a Teal Pumpkin this Halloween?

Halloween is just around the corner and you may see some teal colored pumpkins on display.

Halloween is just around the corner and you may see some teal-colored pumpkins on display. Did you know there is a special meaning behind teal pumpkins? According to foodallergy.com, the Teal Pumpkin Project was designed to raise awareness of food allergies and promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.

teal pumpkin

Why Display a Teal Pumpkin?

Halloween can be a stressful time for children with food allergies. These children may feel excluded from candy-centered holiday activities. Displaying a teal pumpkin tells trick-or-treaters and their families that you have non-food items available. This does not mean you can’t distribute candies, just that you have options for children who may be allergic.

If you want to participate, there are several places to find teal pumpkins. Many craft stores have plastic and foam pumpkins in the seasonal displays. If you want to carve a real pumpkin, you can do that and then spray paint it teal. Whatever the source, the teal pumpkin should be prominently displayed on the front porch or in the front of the house so trick-or-treaters can easily see it.

Ideas for Non-Food Halloween Treats

There are tons of non-food Halloween items available at reasonable prices. Toddlers and younger children may enjoy bubbles and finger puppets. School-age children may enjoy themed stickers, pencils and erasers, temporary tattoos, glow sticks or bracelets, spider rings, and even the more traditional vampire teeth. Other favorites are small tins of play-doh, Halloween themed bouncy balls (eyeballs), playing cards, noisemakers, and mini slinkies. These items can be found in most stores and may be purchased in bulk at party supply stores.

The goal of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make the children with allergies feel included in all the activities and festivities at Halloween. By offering non-food treat options, you can help every child enjoy the holiday.

For more information, visit the Food Allergy Research and Education website at Teal Pumpkin Project. The Team Pumpkin Project has flyers, stencils, yard signs, and stickers as well as a Participation Map to help families locate teal pumpkin homes.

10 Home Made Halloween Costumes for Kids

It can be easy and fun to grab a costume at the store, but sometimes a non-traditional costume is or a craft project is more fun for the children.

It can be easy and fun to grab a costume at the store, but sometimes a non-traditional costume is or a craft project is more fun for the children. Creating a unique costume, especially if the child is old enough to help, can be a great way to spend time together and also allows the child to use their creativity and experience pride in their work.

Here are a few ideas for you to consider this Halloween:

1. Food truck chef. Gather large cardboard pieces or tape a few pieces together to create a large box. Use paints and other items to draw the outline of the food truck. Create a cut out for the child in the space of the order window. Let the child pick their favorite foods and draw, then paint the menu and food truck name. Attach shoulder straps to the cardboard and size them so the child is in the window frame with the straps holding the cardboard cut out up. Dress the child in a chef uniform and for fun, add a chef hat.

2. Lumberjack. This is a great costume for adventurers and kids who enjoy the outdoors. Just grab a pair of boots, jeans, a plaid shirt, suspenders, and a warm hat. To create a lumberjack ax, use cardboard and spray paint the handle brown and the ax blade gray or silver. If desired, add a cloth beard or use face paint to create facial hair.

3. Zookeeper. Younger children love this costume and it’s easy to pull together. Grab khaki pants or shorts and a khaki shirt with pockets. Sew or iron on animal patches that can be purchased at a craft store. You can stencil on the child’s name for customization. Then, add a brown belt, boots, and have the child carry their favorite stuffed animal.

4. Scuba diver. For water enthusiasts, becoming a scuba diver is fun. First, dress the child in black pants, a black long sleeve shirt, and a black skull cap to represent a wetsuit. Then take two 2-Liter soda bottles and paint them grey, adding a few black stripes. With black ribbon or rope, tie the water bottles together with the top end up and create two shoulder straps so they rest on the child’s back. Add a mask (or for younger children – face paint a mask) and the costume is complete.

minecraft figurine

5. Lego or Minecraft. These costumes are built using cardboard boxes held together with masking tape. Using spray paint, create the base color and add circles for Legos and alternating checkered boxes for Minecraft. Once built, have the child dress in black pants and shirt or match the dominate color of the costume. Cardboard can be used to create a sword or other accessories for individualized themes.


6. Up movie by Disney. Start by building and decorating a small cardboard house, about the size of a dinner plate. To the house, add 12-15 multicolored helium-filled balloons. Under the house, attach a string that connects to your wrist. To finish the costume, you can dress like Carl Fredricksen or Russell. For Carl, grab a grey wig, glasses, and cane, while wearing a white shirt, bow tie, grey sweater, and brown pants. For Russell, you’ll need a yellow shirt, orange neckerchief, brown pants, a yellow hat, and a brown sash with patches.

7. Green army man toy. This classic toy can be recreated with a lot of spray paint and we recommend getting low-cost paints and a shirt from a second-hand store. Use the spray paint on the boots, pants, jacket, belt and helmet so the entire costume is the same shade of green. To accessorize, paint green toy binoculars, compass, plastic gun, and hand grenades. Use green body paint for face and hands to complete the costume.

Jack-O-Lantern and leaves

8. Harry Potter. A pop culture favorite, this costume can be pulled together with brown pants, a button-up shirt, a sweater vest, and a scarf. Just add big wire-rimmed glasses and using eyeliner, add the famous lightning bold scar.

9. Knights. Gather grey pants with a matching long sleeve grey shirt or sweatshirt with a hood. Find an old white shirt and cut off the sleeves to create a vest. Use fabric paint to create a family crest on the white vest. Then, use cardboard to make a shield, sword, and feather topped helmet.

10. Bubble bath. Start with white shoes or slippers, white leggings, and a long-sleeve white shirt. To create the bubbles, add white balloons, with a few clear and pink balloons. Inflate the balloons to different sizes so some are small while others are larger. Attach a rubber duck and the look is complete.