Halloween is the perfect time of year for haunting costumes, ghost stories and other fun frights. Keep the seasonal atmosphere dialed down to a mild spooky rather than full-on scary with these simple safety tips.

Decor Safety

From faux spider webs to grinning jack-o-lanterns and cauldrons bubbling over with smoke, there are a lot of fun ways to decorate for Halloween. Keep a few simple tips in mind when you turn your home into a haunted house:

  • Keep paper decorations, fabric and other materials clear of open flame and bare incandescent bulbs. Consider using LED candles with realistic flickering effects rather than traditional wick candles.

  • Dry ice is perfect for creating a foggy effect, but remember that it can cause severe burns. Always handle with gloved hands, and make sure kids understand that it’s for looking at, not touching.

  • Be mindful of any tripping hazards on your front walkway and porch, especially if you’re planning on creating a spooky atmosphere with dim lighting. You can use rugs or duct tape to pin down extension cords and other items so trick-or-treaters have an unobstructed path to your front door.

Costume Safety

Costumes are a great way for kids to express their personalities and exercise their imaginations. Help the kiddos keep their festive outfits functional and safe so they can enjoy their evening to the max. Here are some pointers to keep in mind as you make or shop for a costume:

  • Masks can obscure a child’s vision and may also make it harder for them to hear. Opt for makeup rather than a mask, especially for younger kids who are more wobbly on their feet.

  • Pants and skirts that are too long can also get in the way of a good trick-or-treat adventure. Help your kids try on their costumes a few days before Halloween so you can trim or sew any hems that are too long.

  • Choose accessories that are soft and flexible rather than hard and rigid. A tiny pirate is better equipped with a sword made from foam rather than wood, for example.

Trick-or-Treat Safety

Halloween is ultimately all about the candy. Trick-or-treating is a great way for families to connect with neighbors and communities. These simple steps can help ensure a low-key evening of candy-collecting fun:

  • Make sure kids are visible. Glow stick necklaces and bracelets are an easy way to make visibility seem more fun. You can also buy reflective tape and cut out fun shapes to stick on your kid’s costume.

  • Plan out your route ahead of time so you know where you are. If you’re sending older kids out trick-or-treating solo, ask them to check in with their phones by taking pictures along their route and sending them to you.

  • Keep your pets safe too! If your dog is coming trick-or-treating with the family, make sure their costumes don’t obstruct their movement, and consider adding reflective tape to collars and leashes.