Make your Halloween a safe and fun one! Since all sorts of Halloween activities exist for many different age groups, it’s important to remember that it’s not just kids having fun on October 31st!
Safe Halloween Tips for Pre-School Aged Kids
- Ensure kids that are trick-or-treating are well supervised—take them by the hand and go to the door with them.
- Teach safety lessons early: Remind them not to eat any candy until they get home and an adult has checked it, and that they should never enter anybody’s home.
- Choose well-lit areas, and make sure costumes are reflective, not too long or have accessories that can cause a tripping or injury hazard and are warm enough.
Safe Halloween Tips for Early Elementary Aged Kids (Kindergarten to Grade 3 or 4)
- Kids should always be supervised by an adult, even if trick-or-treating in groups. Make sure all kids are present before leaving a house.
- Don’t let kids run between houses, and outline routes that will minimize the number of streets being crossed. Make sure they follow street-safety rules. Remind kids unlit houses are off-limits.
- As with younger kids, all costumes should not pose a tripping hazard, and accessories like swords are usually best left at home. Costumes should be reflective–or have lights! Always choose well-lit areas.
- Candy collected should not be eaten en route and should be checked by a parent at home before eating. If you know your kids really won’t be able to resist, have the adult travelling with them carry a few pieces of safe candy (as a surprise!) for the group.
Safe Halloween Tips for Older Kids (Grade 4 or 5 to 7) 
- Have kids map out their route before halloween night if travelling without an adult. Have set check-in times for kids to report back home at for a break and/or to drop off candy.
- Have kids take a cellphone with them. Canadian Living magazine recommends adding a location-tracking app to a smartphone so you can find out where your kids are at any moment. Make sure kids know phone numbers to call if they need, and check in regularly
- Know who’s joining your kid’s trick or treating group, and that their friends’ parents know they are going out as a group that does not have an adult with them.
- Follow the above costume tips—though, you’ve probably got the art mastered by now!
Safe Halloween Tips for Teenagers
- Teens may not be trick or treating, but might be headed off to a school dance or a party. Ensure even young teens are well educated about alcohol—and no, it’s not too early. In my 9th grade year, two girls in my grade got alcohol poisoning and had to be taken form a school dance by ambulance.
- Even if the adults in their life don’t condone it, teens are drinking. In areas with a legal drinking age of 21, 22.7% of teens aged 12 to 20 reported consuming alcohol in the last month—in 2013, over 35% of fifteen-year-olds reported having had one drink in their lives. If teens are consuming alcohol, make sure they know the risks, when to stop, and ensure a sober adult is supervising. Ensure teens know how to stay hydrated and that they don’t drink on an empty stomach 
- If teens are driving, ensure they are watching for people on the streets. Drive slow.
- Ensure teens have a parent or other trusted adult available to drive them home, or have cab fare: a party night might not be the best night to trust that teens you don’t know well will stay sober to drive them home.
- Ensure teens protect their drinks—alcoholic or not.
- Make sure teens know to call home if they need to—no matter what time it is.
Safe Halloween Tips for Adults
- If you’re driving, watch for kids on the streets. Drive slow.
- Maybe you’re all grown up, but many of the tips for teens still apply!
- If you’re drinking, follow the tips above, and always have a designated driver or cab fare ready—book your cab ahead of time.
Safe Halloween Tips for Kids, Teens, and Adults with Chronic Diseases or Disabilities
- Wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace, and make sure it’s visible/unobstructed by the costume—especially for kids.
- Food Allergies: Ensure nothing is eaten until it’s been checked at home for safety and allergens! Trade kids candy they aren’t allergic to, or pay them for it—use this trick for any kids who want to make a few bucks or otherwise need to limit their sugar consumption for health reasons.
For teens and adults,
For all ages, carry epinephrine (EpiPen or AuviQ/Allerject) auto-injectors at all times and use it at the first sign of a reaction, then call 911.
- Diabetes: Kids with type 1 diabetes can have candy as long as they take insulin for it appropriately. In the days following halloween, some kids might have rocky blood sugars—use this time to educate them, not scare them! Kids might also choose to put certain types of candy away to treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
For kids with type 2 diabetes not taking insulin, holidays can be a bit more difficult. Like all kids, kids with T2 diabetes should choose a couple pieces of candy to have daily, worked into their diet. Parents can also consider trading kids candy for money.
If you are a teen or adult with diabetes and are drinking alcohol, ensure you know how alcohol affects your blood sugars, check your blood sugar often, drink plenty of water, and carry fast-acting glucose and/or glucagon with you. Drinking with Diabetes is a resource for young people with Type 1 diabetes who want to make informed decisions regarding alcohol consumption.
- Asthma: For kids with exercise induced asthma, trick-or-treating can cause symptoms. Ensure kids carry inhalers with them, and use them before heading out if prescribed before exercise. Be mindful that some neighbours may have fires set up outside or pets around—keep medication on hand and use it as needed.
- Autism: Ensure kids with autism are supervised by an adult while trick-or-treating, and follow all safety precautions above and take breaks regularly to avoid getting overwhelmed. For young kids, or older kids who are nonverbal, making a special “Trick or Treat” sign to hold up at the door can get kids involved in the tradition, even if they don’t speak. Have a plan in place for kids who are prone to running during stressful situations–or take them trick-or-treating early when it is less busy. Travelling with more than one adult can keep kids with autism safe and happy, and their siblings happy, too, by allowing the child to go home, take a break, or simply ensure safety of all kids if something does happen. Make sure kids with autism wear a medical ID bracelet, too.
What did I miss? Leave your tips in the comments below.