Keep Kids Safe This Halloween

The injury prevention experts at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC are offering tips for families to make sure all of our princesses and superheroes, young and old, enjoy the holiday and gather treats safely this year.  

Drivers need to be on heightened alert for kids trick-or-treating during the day and evening hours, as vehicles pose one of the greatest dangers during the holiday. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by cars and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

“Kids are always eager on Halloween to walk with friends from house to house and get lots of treats, so they are less likely to pay attention to traffic,” said Barbara Gaines, M.D. at Children’s Hospital. “We ask parents to speak with their children about pedestrian safety and other Halloween safety precautions before they go out trick-or-treating.”

Parents need to supervise younger children while they are trick-or-treating, stay in neighborhoods close to home, use flashlights, and use safe pedestrian behaviors themselves as a good example to children. Some older kids don’t need parental supervision, but they need to venture out in groups, and never alone.

Parents and kids also should be mindful when choosing a costume, which should be made of fire-resistant material, brightly colored, and should not be a tripping hazard. If a costume is dark colored, add reflective tape so the trick-or-treater can be seen by drivers. Instead of masks, non-toxic face paint is a good alternative.

Children’s also offers some additional safety tips for parents during Halloween:

  • Instruct children not to eat any treats until they can be checked by an adult.
  • Keep your home well-lit for trick-or-treaters and clear walkways and pathways around your home.
  • Respect the designated trick-or-treating times in your neighborhood—whether it be during the weekend or on Monday, Oct. 31.

For more information and safety tips for the Halloween holiday, please visit

Regionally, nationally, and globally, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a leader in the treatment of childhood conditions and diseases, a pioneer in the development of new and improved therapies, and a top educator of the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. Children’s Hospital has fulfilled this mission since its founding in 1890. Children’s is named consistently to several elite lists of pediatric hospitals, including ranking 10th among children’s hospitals and schools of medicine (FY 2015) in funding for pediatric research provided by the National Institutes of Health, and is one of 11 pediatric hospitals in the United States named to U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of America’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” for 2016-2017.