Staying Safe on Halloween

Last updated:

OTTAWA – Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for children of all ages. To ensure it’s also a safe experience, parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow these important safety tips.

Costume and decoration safety

  • Be sure to check Health Canada’s Recalls and Safety Alerts database to ensure that costumes, decorations (e.g., string lights) and accessories have not been recalled.
  • Avoid flowing skirts and capes, baggy sleeves, over-sized costumes and accessories (e.g., beards, wigs and feathers) on costumes as these can catch on fire if they come into contact with lit candles or flames. Nylon or heavyweight polyester costumes may be safer choices.
  • Keep candles, matches, lighters and other fire hazards out of sight and reach of children.
  • To further reduce the risk of open flames, consider using LED candles or lights in jack-o-lanterns and other decorations.
  • Make sure that costumes are not so baggy or long that children can trip over them.
  • Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be seen clearly by motorists. Add reflective tape to costumes to increase visibility.
  • Consider using makeup or face paint instead of masks, as improperly fitted masks can interfere with a child’s vision or breathing. If you choose to use a mask, make sure it is one that allows a child to see and breathe easily.
  • Before using face paint or makeup, do a patch test to see whether a child is sensitive or allergic to something in the cosmetic. Products labelled as “hypoallergenic” can still cause allergic reactions. If a child has a known skin allergy, make sure to check the cosmetic’s list of ingredients or contact the manufacturer.

Trick or treating

  • Give each child a flashlight to carry to make them more visible to motorists and others.
  • Tell children to stay in well-lit areas and to visit only homes that have their outdoor lights turned on. Remind children not to go into homes or cars, even if they are invited.
  • Remind children not to eat any treats until an adult has checked them first.
  • Throw out treats that are not commercially wrapped, or that are found in torn, damaged or loose packages.
  • Ask children to wash their hands before opening and eating candy treats.
  • Remove any choking hazards like gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys from the loot bags of young children. Do not let children younger than three years of age play with toys with small parts.

Food allergies or sensitivities

  • Consider giving out treats that do not contain food allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk and egg. Food allergens can cause severe reactions in individuals who have allergies or sensitivities.
  • Try to find treats that provide a list of ingredients on their label so that children with allergies know whether they are safe for them to eat.
  • As an alternative to candy, consider giving out stickers or glow sticks.
  • If a child has food allergies, read labels carefully and avoid candies that do not have an ingredient list, or that have a “may contain” or similar statement after the ingredient list that warn about items to which they are allergic.
  • If a child has been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector because of a food allergy, make sure that they have it available whenever they eat Halloween candy.

For more information

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983
[email protected]

Public enquiries

(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *