Halloween began as a day to mark the end of the harvest season and the start of winter and, over the years, transitioned into the second most-celebrated holiday of the year with parties, costumes, and candy for adults and kids alike. In fact, Americans will spend $10.6 billion this year on Halloween.

While it’s a festive day kids of all ages anticipate every year, Halloween also comes with myriad safety dilemmas, especially for the unaware and unprepared. Consider the following safety tips to be prepared for the leading safety hazards lurking in the shadows on Halloween.

Eye Safety

Many people get a little crazy on Halloween. Avoid unnecessary eye emergencies by:

  • Being wary of decorative contact lenses. Only purchase them through an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Using caution with masks, wigs, and eye patches that can block visibility or irritate eyes.
  • Using only hypo-allergenic face makeup and keeping makeup out of the eyes.
  • Avoiding carrying sharp objects (e.g., swords, wands) with costumes, especially when walking in the dark.
  • Carrying a small flashlight when trick-or-treating to avoid trips and falls.

Pedestrian Safety

Statistics show that children are four times more likely to be in fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year. Employ the following tips to avoid this tragedy.

  • If it’s not made of reflective material, add reflective tape to make your child’s costume visible to motorists.
  • Make sure children stay on sidewalks and cross only at designated areas.
  • When driving on Halloween, slow down and watch out for trick-or-treaters.
  • Do not leave younger children unattended when trick-or-treating.
  • For older children, help plan their route and review pedestrian safety rules.

Candy Safety

Many people consider candy the best part of Halloween. Keep it enjoyable by making sure both getting and eating it are done safely.

  • Prohibit children from eating any candy before it is approved by a trusted adult.
  • When handing out candy, make sure your yard is well lit and free from any tripping hazards.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and throw away any compromised wrappers.
  • Avoid homemade treats unless you know the source.
  • Make sure children eat healthy dinners before going trick-or-treating.

Costume Safety

Second only to candy is wearing a fun costume. Take a few minutes to make sure your child’s costume doesn’t become or create a safety hazard.

  • Make sure costumes are made of flame-resistant material.
  • Avoid walking near an open flame.
  • Approve costumes only if they fit well and won’t cause tripping or decreased visibility.
  • Make sure shoes fit correctly and won’t cause tripping.
  • Add reflective tape or flashing Halloween decorations to costumes to increase visibility.

Stranger Safety

Unfortunately, evil really does lurk and prey on children on Halloween. To avoid it, take these simple precautions.

  • Tell children never to enter anyone’s house when trick-or-treating.
  • Make sure children know to never approach a stranger’s car on Halloween or any other time of year.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone. (What fun is that anyway?)
  • Choose safe, well-lit neighborhoods.
  • Have children carry a cell phone, so they can they call for help and to make locating them easier.

Halloween presents an opportunity for safe fun for children and adults alike if essential safety guidelines are followed. Taking just a few extra minutes to understand Halloween safety can help ensure your children, your yard, your neighborhood, and of course you, are safe and free from tragedy on Halloween.