Tips to keep your Halloween safe

Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday, according to

When it comes to costumes, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has tips for buying or creating costumes that are safe to wear.

  • If a mask is worn, cut the eyeholes and nosehole large enough to allow full visibility so breathing is not hampered.
  • Be certain that masks, wigs, beards and hats fit securely and are not cumbersome.
    An alternative to face masks may be the application of non-toxic face paint or make-up to the child's face.
  • Look for "flame resistant" labels on costumes, masks, beards and wigs. When shopping for fabrics such as 100 percent polyester, nylon, or wool. Sales people can assist in identifying these fabrics
  • Avoid costumes made out of flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. These are more likely to come in contact with an exposed flame or candle than tighter fitting costumes.
  • Do not allow children to carry knives, swords or other props unless they are soft and flexible.
  • Buy or make Halloween costumes that are light or bright enough to make them more visible to motorists at dusk and in the dark.
  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children form tripping and falling. Children should always wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.

Ready to hit the streets? According to the Glendale Fire Department children are four times more likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year. They have some additional tips for trick-or-treaters:

  • Drivers should stay on alert and watch for children, especially in residential neighborhoods
  • Children should be reminded not to run and to use crosswalks or street corners after looking both ways
  • USA Safe Kids suggests children under the age of 12 be accompanied by an adult
  • Parents should check all treats before they are eaten and report anything suspicious
  • For the purpose of lighting a jack-o-lantern, use a flashlight or liquid light that glows after it bends; not candles.

Phoenix Children's Hospital has a few more Halloween tips to keep kids safe:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. They can draw a face with markers and parents can do the cutting
  • Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins
  • Candle-lit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended
  • If your older children go trick-or-treating alone, plan and review the 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
  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween

For more on the Halloween season, go to our Halloween Headquarters.

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