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Trick or Treat — Your Essential Guide to Halloween Safety

By Eastern Insurance, Oct. 19, 2017

Trick or Treat — Your Essential Guide to Halloween Safety

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Fall has arrived in New England. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and with Halloween costumes, decorations and candy overflowing in the store aisles, there is a spooky feeling all around. October is a month full of fun autumn activities for the whole family to enjoy, but none as beloved as Halloween. You already know to beware of witches, goblins, and ghosts, but there are plenty of other Halloween hazards to avoid, especially around trick-or-treat. Even if you’re just passing out candy from your porch, take note of these safety tips to reduce liability while children are on your property.

Here are our tips on how to safely celebrate this haunted holiday.

Proceed with Caution in Costumes

  • Dressing up in a costume is one of the best parts of Halloween (second to the free candy). Select face makeup and paint that is labeled “FDA Approved” or “Non-toxic” to prevent allergic reactions. Purchase wigs, costumes, and accessories that are fire-retardant. Avoid masks or glasses that may restrict vision.
  • Place reflective tape on your children’s costumes and candy bags if they are going trick-or-treating at night. Wear some on your own clothes, and bring a flashlight for additional visibility.
  • Refrain from wearing baggy or long costumes to prevent trips and falls while trick-or-treating.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye exam from an eye care professional. The packaging may say it is safe to wear them, but these decorative lenses can cause inflammation and damage to your eyes.

On the Trick-Or-Treat Trail

  • Children under the age of 12 should not walk alone at night without a parent or guardian.
  • Make sure everybody keeps cell phones with them, but in a secure place where they will not lose them, or be tempted to use them while walking.
  • Remind your kids to walk only on the sidewalk, to use pedestrian crosswalks, and to look both ways before crossing the street. If your neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks, inform your kids to walk as close to the edge of the road as possible, facing traffic.
  • If your kids are trick-or-treating with friends, remind them to stay in a group and to never accept a ride home from a stranger.
  • Tell your children that they should never go inside someone’s home if they are invited inside unless they are a close family friend or relative. Candy or food that is not commercially wrapped or packaged is off-limits.
  • Instruct your children to refrain from eating candy from their bags while they are out trick or treating. Some candy may pose a choking hazard to young children, or children of all ages that might be running from house to house. Children may also be less aware of allergens, or candy that could damage braces while they are out.
  • Once your kids are home with their bags full of candy, inspect each piece to make sure they are safe to eat. Throw away any pieces that are opened or look as if they have been tampered with. Find out what to look for here.

Stay Safe at Home and on the Road

  • Clear your walkways, stairs, and porch of anything that children can trip or fall over. It’s great to have spooky decorations, but make sure they don’t create an unsafe space for foot traffic.
  • Display a teal pumpkin on your porch to let trick-or-treaters and parents know that you are providing non-food treats to children who have food allergies. Don’t have time to paint a pumpkin? Print out this free sign for your door or window.
  • If you’ll be driving on Halloween, stay within the speed limit, especially in residential neighborhoods. Proceed with extra caution and look out for children crossing streets and intersections.
  • Eliminate any distractions while you’re driving so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • If you live near busy roads, consider only allowing your children to trick-or-treat during the day or before dusk, and accompany children of all ages to keep them safe among fast-moving motorists.

It can be impossible to anticipate every incident that can occur during Halloween, especially at your home. That’s why it’s a good idea to review your home insurance policy before your local trick-or-treat to guarantee you’ll be covered in case of a claim. Email a member of our customer service team at, or call (800) 333-7234 (Option 2) to speak with one of our experienced agents. You can also learn more about home insurance coverage on our website at

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