October is Halloween Safety Month! (Because it would be weird if it were in February, right?) From creepy costumes and deathly decorations to haunted houses and jocular jack-o-lanterns, there are cauldrons of fun to be had by all. We just need to use our heads, assuming we can hang on to them for the whole evening! (Insert evil laugh here.) Remember to exercise caution by following these helpful hints to keep your little ones out of harm’s way on the big night. After all … you can’t spell Frankenstein’s Monster without the letters S – A – F – E. (Fun fact: It took me ten minutes to find an “otherworldly term” that worked for this joke.)

Costuming with Care

  • Look for costumes labeled “flame-resistant” or “flame-retardant.”
  • Dress in brightly colored clothing when possible.
  • Apply reflective tape to treat bags and costumes, especially dark-colored ones.
  • Use costumes and shoes that fit properly to avoid trips and falls.
  • If using make-up, test on a small area of the skin prior to Halloween. Seek brands that are free of lead and other toxins.
  • Make-up is a safer choice than a mask because vision is not obstructed. Wigs, beards and hats can all create “blind spots” in a child’s vision.
  • Put a sticker on a non-conspicuous spot on your child’s costume that reads “If I get lost, please call (your name) at (your phone number).” Let your children know so they can share it if necessary.

Troubleshooting the Treats

  • Have a good meal before leaving the house.
  • Bring snacks so you’re not tempted to eat any of the not-yet-inspected treats. 
  • Inspect all treats to confirm they’re fully sealed and uncompromised before eating. 
  • Allow your child to consume homemade items only from people you know well.
  • Beware of choking hazards (such as jawbreakers and other hard candy) with younger children.
  • For children with food allergies, make sure they’re aware of the specific foods they should avoid.
  • If applicable, don’t forget the EpiPen and any other allergy medication.
  • Use hand sanitizer before eating on the go and wash hands before eating once back at home.

Navigating the Night

  • Use sidewalks and paths. If none exist, walk at the road’s edge facing traffic.
  • Use corners and crosswalks to cross streets.
  • Always look both ways and make eye contact with the driver before crossing.
  • Never cross the street between cars.
  • Watch for cars turning or backing out/pulling into driveways.
  • Approach only clearly lit homes, and never go inside a home or car for a treat.
  • Carry a cellphone but don’t walk while staring down at it.
  • Stay with your group!


Can you name the Southshore crew members in these pictures?

Have a Safe and Spooktacular Halloween!

Michele Robert Poche