Scared safe: Have healthy fun on Halloween

October 20, 2021 | by Siva Krishnan, MD

Things are supposed to be scary on Halloween, right?

Well, the goal is to have fun being scared – safely. Nobody wants to cap off an evening of trick-or-treating in the emergency room.

Besides watching out for their nutrition (don’t overdo the candy!), you may also want to review some basic safety rules with your kids before they head out on Halloween.

Since children under age 12 aren't yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it's important to continue taking pandemic precautions. This includes trick-or-treating outdoors and in small groups, wearing a mask in indoor settings (children older than 2), staying home if you're sick, and washing hands before eating any treats. Children should not wear a costume mask over a COVID face mask, because it can make breathing more difficult. For those giving out treats, consider sitting outside and putting prepackaged goodies on a table for children to take.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a great list of Halloween safety tips, including:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Give flashlights with fresh batteries to all children and their escorts.
  • If older children are going alone, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

To avoid pedestrian injuries, the AAP recommends that kids:

  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Put reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Review with children how to call 911 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.

Have fun, and stay safe this Halloween!

If your family hasn’t been vaccinated yet for COVID-19, Edward-Elmhurst Health has COVID-19 vaccine appointments available for ages 12 and older. Schedule your vaccine today

Need a family medicine physician or pediatrician for your child? Find a doctor and schedule online.

Need care now? View our walk-in care services for care that can’t wait. Find a location near you, view wait times and let us know you’re on your way to save your spot.

Healthcare is even easier when you use the MyEEHealthTM mobile app. Download the app and keep track of your health from the comfort of anywhere, 24/7.

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