Release date: October 6, 2011
Release number: 73-035

Release Details

Little goblins and witches, pirates and princesses may be interested only in Halloween tricks and treats, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission urges parents to follow special precautions to insure a safe Halloween.

Costumes are a major concern. Whether purchased or made at home, they should be fire resistant. In stores, look for "Flameproof" labels on costumes, masks, beards and wigs. If making a costume, avoid flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. 

Costumes should be short enough so that children won't trip on them. Also, they should be light or bright enough to make them clearly visible to motorists on dimly lighted residential streets. Even witches can wear reflective tape sewn onto their gowns or carry flashlights.

Masks or other disguises should not restrict vision or breathing. Plastic bags over faces can cause suffocation. A natural mask of cosmetics or charcoal applied directly to the skin is usually safest.

Halloween wouldn't be right without pumpkins, but don't set a candle-lighted pumpkin on a doorstep where children's costumes might brush against it. Indoors, be sure it is not near curtains or other furnishings that could burn.

Children should never be allowed to carry candles or any other open flame, even if it is inside a pumpkin.

The Commission also advises parents to follow these safety guidelines:

- Young children out trick-or-treating should always be accompanied by a responsible older person and should be kept in constant sight

- Tell youngsters to avoid running across lawns or backyards because they can trip over lawn ornaments or run into clotheslines that are almost invisible in the dark

- Remind children of everyday safety rules, such as not dashing out between parked cars

- Children should not eat any of the treats they collect until they have been carefully examined by an adult. Pins, razor blades, slivers of glass, drugs, and poison have been found in treats passed out by real life ghouls

Finally, if you are driving on Halloween, take special care. Watch out for trick-or-treaters who will be too busy to watch out for you.

Media Contact

Please use the below phone number for all media requests.

Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

View CPSC contacts for specific areas of expertise