Halloween is a big treat for kids but is a huge worry for parents and drivers. Parents and drivers can lower risks this Halloween by making sure their trick-or-treating children follow these safety tips:

Smart parents can ensure a safe halloween by accompanying small children around the neighborhood. If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat themselves, advise them to visit homes where they know they are welcome. If the house looks dark and uninviting, tell the kids to stay away.

At home, parents should also leave the porch light on once darkness falls. It is a signal that you welcome kids and also will help to brighten the neighborhood.

Parents should warn children to stay on the sidewalks and to cross the streets carefully. It is also a good idea to put reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treat bags and to arrange for youngsters to go out in groups rather than alone.

Here are more safety tips:

  • Make sure costumes fit properly; loose-fitting costumes can cause a child to trip and fall.
  • Use make-up instead of masks. Some masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Make sure all costumes are made of non-flammable materials.
  • Keep lighted jack-o’-lanterns and candles away from children and flammable materials.
  • Inspect all candy before allowing children to eat them.

Each year, the clock is turned back the Sunday before Halloween in almost every state, as daylight savings ends. This means that it will be dark in much of the country by 5:00 p.m. and many youngters will be canvassing neighborhoods for treats after dark. Drivers need to remember that kids may be distracted by all the costumes and candy.

Drivers should drive slowly in residential areas and to honk their horns on dimly lit streets to alert children. Drivers also need to watch out for youngsters crossing against the light, darting out from between parked cars and walking in the street.

*Information from the Insurance Information Institute,