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Don’t Be Spooked by Injuries This Halloween; Follow CPSC’s Tips to Protect Children from Harm

Release Date: October 24, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Parents and children look forward to Halloween every year. Trick-or-treating, costumes, pumpkin carving, house decorations and lots of treats make Halloween a unique holiday that comes with some equally unique safety considerations. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to make safety a priority this Halloween.


Halloween-Related Injuries

From October through November 2018, CPSC estimates there were 4,500 Halloween-related injuries that were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments.  Here’s how the injuries break down:

  • 44% were related to pumpkin carving;
  • 25% were due to falls while putting up or taking down decorations, tripping on costumes or walking while trick-or-treating;
  • 27% of the injuries included lacerations, ingestions and other injuries associated with costumes, pumpkins or decorations; and
  • 4% were due to allergic reactions or rashes.


CPSC’s Safety Tips

Stay safe this Halloween by observing the following CPSC safety tips:

Pumpkin Carving:

  • Kid helpers can grab a spoon and scoop out the inside or use a marker to trace the design, but should leave the pumpkin carving to the adults.
  • When your jack-o’-lantern masterpiece is ready, use battery-operated lights rather than an open-flame candle.

Costume Creating DIY-Style (Do it yourself)

  • When selecting fabric for DIY costumes, choose polyester or nylon and not sheer cotton or rayon which burn more rapidly. Any fabric can burn if it comes in contact with an open flame. 
  • Use care NEVER to drag a costume over an open flame such as a candle burning in a jack-o’-lantern on a neighbor’s porch when trick-or-treating.
  • Avoid baggy or oversized costumes. Many injuries last year involved trips and falls.
  • Eye and nose holes in masks should permit full visibility and adequate breathing. Makeup may be a safer alternative to a mask.
  • Always use reflective tape as a trim for costumes and outerwear. Wearing a brightly colored costume and carrying a flashlight or glow stick can also help brighten the walkways for trick-or-treaters.
  • Check out our Halloween DIY video.

Creative Decorating:

  • Prevent fires by using battery-operated lights and glow sticks instead of candles.
  • Pay attention to placement of decorations. To help prevent falls, remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
  • Use CPSC’s ladder safety tips to prevent injuries while putting up or taking down decorations.
  • For indoor décor, keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. It’s just safer to use battery-operated lights.
  • Indoors or outside, only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Halloween Injury Info-graphic

Release Number

About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

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