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9 Tips for Trick-or-Treat and Halloween Party Safety

Your kids may be trick-or-treating Halloween night with some scary characters - zombies, vampires, ghosts and robbers - but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep them safe!

Here are some tips to ensure your kids are safe and scary (PDF) this Halloween:

  • Don’t let your kids accept any unwrapped or unsealed treats.

  • To prevent too much snacking, give your kids a light meal before they head out.

  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone! Travel in groups with a trusted adult.

  • Wear brightly colored clothing or attach reflective tape to your children’s costumes - car accidents are a Halloween hazard that can be avoided.

  • Only go to homes where you know the resident, or lights are on in front of the house.

And if you’re throwing a Halloween party at your house, the FDA has some suggestions for spooky snacks that won’t scare your kids’ immune systems:

  • Bobbing for apples? Be sure to wash them in cool, running water beforehand to remove any lingering bacteria on the surface. Scrub them with a produce brush for extra safety.

  • Raw batter can be enticing, but resist the temptation! It could contain bacteria that makes you sick.

  • Keep bacteria away by keeping perishable food cool until it’s time to serve it, and don’t leave the foods set out at room temperature for more than two hours.

  • Make sure your juices or ciders are pasteurized or otherwise treated to remove bacteria.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has a podcast series designed for you, check out the transcript for Halloween food safety. And, if your kids are interested, show them the history of Halloween, as told by the American Folklife Center, or explore’s Halloween page.