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Variety of candy spilling out of an orange pumpkin pail after trick or treating

Halloween can be a fun time of year for both children and adults alike. Whether you plan to get decked out in an elaborate costume and attend a haunted bash, take the kids trick-or-treating, or stay home and hand out goodies to all the ghosts and goblins who appear on your doorstep, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure everyone has a safe and happy Halloween.

You may be looking for the perfect costume for your children or for yourself. Either way, the possibilities of creatures and characters to dress up as are endless. When creating or purchasing your outfit, keep a few things in mind:

  • Costumes should be made entirely of flame-resistant material. Check the label for “flame resistant” or “flame retardant.”
  • Make sure costumes fit well and do not drag to avoid trips and falls. If a mask is part of your outfit, ensure it fits properly and has holes for the eyes and nose large enough so your vision and breathing are not impaired.
  • Test face paint or makeup on a small area of skin before applying all over to check for allergic reactions.
  • Use caution if wearing decorative contact lenses, as improper use can damage your eyes.
  • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

A customary tradition for children on Halloween, trick-or-treating can provide a night full of fun for them and their parents. If older children are going out without an adult, make sure they understand and agree to follow the rules you have set. Keep everyone safe while traveling door-to-door by following these important tips:

  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Travel in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Carry a flashlight, and fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to increase visibility to passing vehicles.
  • Only visit safe, trusted neighborhoods and approach homes where outdoor lights are on as a welcome sign.
  • Children should never enter a home or accept rides from strangers unless accompanied by a trusted adult.
  • Practice smart street safety: Look both ways before crossing the street, use crosswalks, and obey traffic signals. Walk on sidewalks whenever possible or on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic.

There are lots of Halloween activities to enjoy, such as haunted happenings and costume parties. It’s also common for children and adults to consume large amounts of candy during this spook-tacular time of year. Whether you’re passing out treats at home to costumed visitors or venturing out in search of sweets yourself, there are some things you can do to make for a healthier Halloween:

  • If you are handing out treats this year, consider handing out non-food or healthier food items.
  • After trick-or-treating, examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Throw out anything that is unwrapped or damaged.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
  • If you find yourself with mounds of candy after a night of trick-or-treating, try some of these other fun ideas, instead of eating it all.


Tweet @massgov with pictures of your Halloween costumes

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