New York State Police

Crime Prevention:
Playing it Safe on Halloween
Pointers for Parents


Halloween may be a fun holiday for kids, but for parents, trick-or-treat time can be a little troublesome. Concerns about children's saftey-whether they are out in the neighborhood or back at home with bountiful bags of goodies-can cast a spell on the evening's festivities. But not to worry! Following a few safety tips will ensure that Halloween will be a "howling" good time for all.

"Unhaunting" Your House and Neighborhood

Consider This
Parents and kids can avoid trick-or-treat troubles entirely by organizing a Halloween costume party with treats, games, contests, music, scary stories, and much more. Make your Halloween party the place to be! Schools, fire stations, libraries, even malls in many communities organize "haunted houses" and other festivities for families.

Making Safe Costumes

Dressed up and Dangerous?
Halloween blood and gore are harmless stuff for the most part. But sometimes dressing up as a superhero, a scary monster, or a slimy alien from outer space - coupled with the excitement of Halloween - brings out aggressive behavior. Even fake knives, swords, and guns and other costume accessories can accidentally hurt people. If these objects are part of a child's costume, make sure they are made from cardboard or other flexible materials. Better yet, challenge kids to create costumes that don't need weapons to be scary and fun.

Preparing Ghosts and Goblins for Their Tricks and Treats

Pranks That Can Be a Little Trick
Halloween is notoriously a night of pranks - toilet papering a house or filling mailboxes with shaving cream are not unusual. Try to get a handle on your children's plans before they go out. Explain to them that while you want them to have a good time, some tricks could hurt other children or vandalize property. Emphasize that you disapprove of vandalism.

Eating the Treats