Happy Hauntings: 13 Tips for a Healthy Halloween

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In observance of Halloween, here’s a baker’s dozen ways to prepare and protect your family’s health and safety during trick or treat.

Treat smarts

All treats and no tricks makes Halloween enjoyable for everyone.

  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. If you have any doubt about the safety of a treat, throw it out. child reaching for medicine on counter
  • Carrying a glow stick is one way to see and be seen as night wears on, but did you know that the luminescent liquid inside a glow stick is minimally toxic in small amounts? Do not allow children to chew on glow sticks. Symptoms of ingestion can include mouth or throat irritation and vomiting. Better yet take a flashlight.
  • Children are curious and put all sorts of things in their mouths. Confusing medicine with candies can make Halloween go from spooky to scary. Practice safe medication storage. Keep all medications and vitamins, including your emergency supply, up and away and out of reach and sight of children to avoid confusion with Halloween treats.
  • Halloween can be tricky for children with food allergies. Parents: always read labels (avoid treats without labels), carry an epinephrine auto-injector (if prescribed), and learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project®, an initiative started by Food Allergy Research and Education to provide non-food treats, such as stickers, school supplies, and small toys, to kids with allergies.

Street smarts

The frightening fact is that, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. As a parent or caregiver, here are a few important rules of the road to share with your costumed pedestrians before stepping out.

  • Prepare your trick or treater with trick or treat safety items: a flashlight, reflective tape or strips applied to costumes and candy bags, and an emergency contact information card in case they get lost or separated from the group.
  • Trick or treat as part of a large group with a responsible adult.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street at a crosswalk or intersection.
  • Walk, don’t run between houses to avoid trips and falls.

Caution with costumesOne Size Does Not fit all. Decrative contact lenses without a prescription are NOT a good fit and can lead to these nightmares: Eye Infections, eye scratches, eye sores, vision loss

Your little princess or goblin is itching to hit the trick-or-treat trail, but is their costume safe?

  • Do NOT wear decorative contact lenses without a prescription. Decorative lenses purchased without a prescription may not fit properly, leaving the eye more susceptible to scratches on the outer layer of the eye, or getting an ulcer (an open sore) on the cornea—the clear covering over the front of the eye.
  • Painting your face can be fun alternative to wearing a mask. Test novelty makeups in small area on the arm to test for an allergic reaction before applying it to your face. Remove all makeup according to the manufacturers’ instructions before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
  • Make sure costumes fit well to avoid blocked vision and help prevent trips and falls.
  • Choose costume accessories that are short, soft (i.e., made of plastic or foam) and flexible.


Thanks in advance for your questions and comments on this Public Health Matters post. Please note that the CDC does not give personal medical advice. If you are concerned you have a disease or condition, talk to your doctor.

Have a question for CDC? CDC-INFO (http://www.cdc.gov/cdc-info/index.html) offers live agents by phone and email to help you find the latest, reliable, and science-based health information on more than 750 health topics.

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2 comments on “Happy Hauntings: 13 Tips for a Healthy Halloween”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    As a current employed Registered Nurse during this current pandemic, I could not help but to read this blog due to the upcoming Halloween holiday. I agree with the safety suggestions regarding collecting candy, costumes, and pedestrian safety. Regarding the current COVID-19 virus, there are many other safety precautions that should be considered if children are going door-to-door for trick-or-treating. Before considering to allow children to participate, parents should be aware of their current COVID rating within their community. If there is a high rate in the area, parents should consider a personal home-based Halloween party or alternative to minimize possible exposure. However if the overall rate is low and children are participating in trick-or-treating, be sure that hand sanitizer is used after each contact and masks are wore during approach if above the age of two. If there are children under the age of two, I would recommend transporting them in a stroller if possible and covering the stroller with a blanket prior to approach. Although this may be difficult, I would also encourage to avoid letting children eat any candy until returning home. Once returning home children should wash their hands as soon as possible and candy should be thoroughly inspected by an adult. Any candy that is exposed in any way should be thrown out and hand hygiene should be completed immediately. With party invitations, participants should wear masks during their duration for safety with indoor parties and should consider outdoor functions if possible. Be sure party attendees and children are at a minimum, wearing masks, using hand sanitizers, avoid touching your face, and washing your hands as much as possible. There are several holidays approaching and we must be sure to minimize any possible exposure. Happy holidays and stay safe!

    Unable to find low-risk, high-risk activities for Halloween, Trick-or Treat as regards COVID-19. Planning outdoor parade for children followed by trick-or-treating.

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Page last reviewed: October 29, 2019
Page last updated: October 29, 2019