A parent’s guide to safe trick-or-treating

Whether your child’s costume is cute or creepy, trick-or-treating often means fun for the entire family.

Pam Hoogerwerf, program manager for Pediatric Injury Prevention and Community Outreach at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, provides some simple tips to make sure your trick-or-treating experience is a safe one.

Receiving your annual flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster is another way to make sure you and your family are safe this Halloween.

Pam Hoogerwerf, program manager for Pediatric Injury Prevention and Community Outreach at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital

Traffic can be tricky

Although children may be excited by the lure of a decorated house and candy bowl, it’s important to put safety before candy to keep the evening from ending with an unwanted scare.

Encourage your child to cross streets at corners and crosswalks only, as well as checking both ways for traffic before proceeding.

If you’re behind the wheel, remember the rules of the road, yield to pedestrians, and be extra vigilant.

Make it a group activity

Not only is trick-or-treating more fun with a group, it’s also safer than children going alone.

Children ages 12 and younger should have an adult present to supervise.

If your children are old enough to go without an adult, they should still go with a group of friends (while also sticking to familiar streets).

  • It may also be a good idea to set a timeline expectation. Set a curfew and ask your children to check in at specific times throughout the night.
Feeling sick? Stay home and use the MyChart self-checker to schedule a COVID-19 test.

Visibility matters

Every kid wants their costume to be the best, but it’s also important that they be visible in low light. Reflective tape should be used on costumes, candy bags, strollers, and wagons as much as possible.

It’s also important that your child can see clearly out of their costume mask and that their costume is the right size to prevent falls.

Consider bringing glow sticks or flashlights as well; they may be handy when maneuvering up steps, sidewalks, and streets.