Halloween Safety Tips from the New York Police Department

Children's safety is always a main concern on Halloween, especially when they are trick-or-treating at night. The New York Police Department shares their tips for keeping your children safe this Halloween.

New York Police Department (NYPD) LogoHere are some scary Halloween statistics: According to the Center for Disease Control, children ages 5-14 are four times more likely to be killed by a pedestrian/motor-vehicle accident on Halloween than on any other day of the year, and according to a nine-year study by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, which examined holiday-related pediatric emergency room visits between 1997 and 2006, Halloween is among the top three holidays producing the most ER visits:

  • Finger/hand injuries accounted for the greatest proportion of injuries on Halloween (17.6 percent).
  • Of the finger/hand injuries sustained on Halloween, 33.3 percent were lacerations and 20.1 percent were fractures.
  • Children ages 10-14 sustained the greatest proportion of injuries (30.3 percent).

Sound scary? Here are some things you can do to help stay safe:

Pumpkin Carving Safety

  • Never let children carve pumpkins.
  • Adults carving pumpkins should use specially designed carving knives rather than kitchen knives, as they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin.
  • Carve the pumpkin in small, controlled strokes, away from oneself on a strong, sturdy surface.
  • Carving knives should be kept in a clean, dry, well-lit area—moisture on the tools, hands, or table can cause the knife to slip, leading to injuries.

Costume Safety

  • Halloween costumes should have light and bright colors so children are clearly visible to motorists and other pedestrians.
  • Trim costumes and bags with reflective glow-in-the-dark tape.
  • Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly—if they are too long, kids may trip and fall—trim or hem their costumes as necessary.
  • Be sure your child’s vision is unobstructed from masks, face paint, or hats.
  • Children should wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.


Trick-or-Treating Safety

  • Children should always walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways.
  • Obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Travel in a group with a trusted adult.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit.
  • Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating—these pets can impose a threat when you approach their home.
  • Carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.


Also see:

Five Things You Should Know About Keeping Your Child Safe on the Playground

How to Spot an Overuse Injury

How to Keep Your Kids Safe From Sexual Predators