Health Watch -- Safe Trick-or-Treating

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Some prior planning can keep Halloween from being truly frightening for little goblins.

Safety precautions are as important to a fun Halloween night as costume plans, according to emergency room doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. It just takes a little planning and some thinking to have a safe Halloween night.

Dr. Todd Maxson, a UT Southwestern surgeon, offers these tips for planning a safe Halloween:

Think about safety when you choose your costume. Costumes should be flame-retardant. If you're going to be outside at night, there should be something bright or reflective on the costume so you can be seen. Be careful about clothing that drags on the ground. It can get tangled in bushes or could trip you.

Carry a flashlight, glow stick, strobe or reflective device so you can see and be seen.

Go trick-or-treating in a group and use the buddy system so no one falls behind or gets lost from the group. The group should have adult supervision, and the adult should have a cell phone in case of emergencies.

Plan your route to avoid busy intersections, high-traffic streets and poorly lit or vacant areas. Stay in your own neighborhood and avoid the homes of people you don't know. Be careful around unfamiliar pets.

Wait until you get home to eat your candy and avoid unwrapped candy.

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Oct. 2004

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