Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Take a minute to read our Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips and keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween.

Tips for: Trick-or-Treaters | Parents | Homeowners | Pet Owners | Drivers

Trick-or-Treat Dates & Times


  • Never trick-or-treat alone. Have at least two friends go with you.
  • Plan your entire route and make sure your family knows what it is.
  • Carry a bright flashlight to illuminate sidewalks, steps and paths. Use new flashlight batteries and check it before you leave the house.
  • Chemical glow light sticks can be used along with flashlights.
  • Always WALK, do not run.
  • Stay on sidewalks. If there is not a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. Walk single file, facing the traffic.
  • Obey traffic signals and only cross at corners.
  • Don't assume you have the right of way.
  • Because one car stops, it doesn't mean others will!
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Don't cut across yards or driveways.
  • Wear a watch you can read in the dark. Set the watch alarm if you have time limit for trick-or-treating.
  • Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
  • Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props. Avoid pointed props such as spears, or wands that endanger other children's eyes.
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
  • Make sure your costume doesn't drag on the ground or you might trip on it.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, and make sure they should fit properly.
  • Visit houses that have lights on, especially houses with Halloween decorations.
  • Stay away from animals you don't know.
  • Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
  • Accept treats only in the doorway. Never go inside a house.
  • Always carry a spare Halloween bag just in case yours breaks.
  • Take a cell phone with you if possible.
  • Always be polite and don't forget to say "Trick-or-Treat" and "Thank You"!
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  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • In order to discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats, make sure they eat dinner before going out.
  • Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
  • Older children should carry a cell phone with home number ready.
  • Be sure to watch young children carefully near the street.
  • If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch and set their alarm to a time when they should return home.
  • Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home.
  • Older children should trick-or-treat in groups. You should know where they're going and with who they are going with.
  • Although tampering is rare, tell children to bring ALL the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything.
  • Review with your children the principle of "Stop-Drop-Roll", should their clothes catch on fire.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • Plan a route and check the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry to know which houses your kids should stay away from.


  • Give children an early meal before going out.
  • Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
  • Report to the police anything that appears suspicious about treats.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.
  • If you child has a food allergy, look at the ingredients of the treats they bring home.
  • Limit the amount of treats they consume to avoid sickness.
  • If your child is diabetic, read this article for helpful information Halloween and Diabetes.


  • Costumes should be loose enough so that warm clothes can be worn underneath.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Only purchase costumes, wigs and accessories if they clearly indicate they are flame resistant.
  • Make sure that shoes fit well (even if they don't go with your costume).
  • Make sure that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape (usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores), striping or glow sticks to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives.
  • When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives," "Laboratory Tested," "Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic." Follow manufacturer's instruction for application.
  • If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
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  • Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
  • Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them up to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
  • Glow sticks, light sticks or battery powered jack-o-lantern lights and candles are preferable to real flame candles.
  • If you do use candles, place the jack-o-lantern well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
  • NEVER leave any flaming candle unattended.
  • Be prepared. Have a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Be sure the path and stairs to your front door are well illuminated and clear of obstacles.
  • Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't be blown into a flaming candle.
  • Consider purchasing individually packaged healthy food alternatives (or safe non-food treats) for those who visit your home.
    • Include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later.
    • Non-food treats (great for those with diabetes or food allergies): plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.
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  • Halloween can be a very traumatic and even dangerous time for your pet.
  • Don't leave your pet out in the yard on Halloween.
  • Strangers visiting in costumes can be scary for dogs.
  • Put your pet in a cage or seperate room to keep them from darting out the door.
  • Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
  • Chocolate is poisonous to a lot of animals.
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  • Drive SLOW, SLOW, SLOW!
  • Be aware that in Wisconsin, not all communities hold trick-or-treat on Halloween. Kids may be out trick-or-treating the weekend prior to Halloween up through Halloween night!
  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars and walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • If you are driving children, be sure they exit on the curb side, away from traffic.
  • Do not wear your mask while driving.
  • At twilight or later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
  • Adult Halloween parties should have a designated driver.
  • Turn your lights on even in daylight - lights make you more visible.
  • Drive cautiously to give yourself extra time to react to children crossing the street.
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June 24th, 2024 9:49 p.m. CDT 24.08