Halloween Safety: Safety Alert

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Halloween Safety: Safety Alert

CPSC Document #100

A few safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission can protect children who plan to go trick-or-treating
this Halloween.

Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has
carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks,
beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although
this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does
indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish
quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the
risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid
costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy
sleeves or billowing skirts.

Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and
bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.

  • For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or
    trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of
    a car's headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or
    decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually
    available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.

  • To easily see and be seen, children should also carry

  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from
    tripping and falling.

  • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes . Mother' s
    high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.

  • Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from
    slipping over children's eyes.

  • Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear
    a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure
    vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely
    and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.

  • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of
    soft and flexible material.

Pedestrian Safety: Young children should always be accompanied by
an adult or an older, responsible child. All children should
WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if
available, rather than walk in the street. Children should be
cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across
lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines
present dangers.

Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the
residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of

  • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are
    accompanied by an adult.

  • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that
    could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Candlelit
    jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps
    where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor
    jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations,
    and other furnishings that could be ignited.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, you can go to CPSC's forms page and use the first on-line form on that page. Or, you can call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or send the information to Consumers can obtain this publication and additional publication information from the Publications section of CPSC's web site or by sending your publication request to If you would like to receive CPSC's recall notices, subscribing to the email list will send all press releases to you the day they are issued.