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Make Halloween Less Scary and Safe

(October 27, 2011) – Whether you are a goblin in Monterey, a superhero in Santa Cruz, a witch in Santa Clara, or a zombie in San Francisco, remember Halloween’s greatest hazards aren’t vampires and villains, but falls, costume mishaps and traffic accidents. The American Red Cross wants you and your family to have a safe night of trick-or-treating, so we’re providing these tips to make this a frightfully safe Halloween.

Costume Safety

Whether a child wants to be a princess, a monster or a superhero for Halloween, parents can help keep it safe by using these simple tips when preparing costumes:

  • Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Use flame-resistant costumes.
  • Use face makeup instead of masks, which can cover your eyes and make it hard to see.
  • Navigating the Neighborhood

    To maximize safety, plan a route ahead of time. Make sure adults know where children are going. If the children are young, a parent or responsible adult should accompany them as they walk through the neighborhood. Here are more safety tips to follow as children go from house to house:

  • Make sure trick-or-treaters have a flashlight.
  • Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door—never go inside.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner.
  • Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.
  • Trick or Treat!

    For those who expect to greet trick-or-treaters at their door, make sure it’s fun for everyone by following a few tips:

  • Make sure the outdoor lights are on.
  • Sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps.
  • Clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
  • Restrain pets.
  • Use a glow stick instead of a candle in jack-o-lanterns to avoid a fire hazard.
  • Share these tips along with our annual “Lucky 13 Tips for a Safe Halloween” downloadable flyer to avoid accidents and any bumps in the night. For additional information on how you and your family can be prepared for emergencies on any day of the year, please contact your local chapter or visit

    About the American Red Cross

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on local volunteers and the generosity of local residents and companies to perform its mission. For more information, visit to learn more or contact your local chapter:

    Connect with your local Red Cross:

  • Bay Area Chapter –
  • Monterey Bay Chapter –
  • Santa Cruz County Chapter –
  • Silicon Valley Chapter –
  • Media Contact:

  • Cynthia Shaw
  • Cell: 408-666-6857