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Safety tips for Halloween

Make sure costumes are visible at night, trick-or-treat in groups, and inspect treats before eating
Take the time to make Halloween safe and fun for all. (Getty Images)

With fanciful costumes, glowing jack-o-lanterns and cauldrons of sweet treats, Halloween is always a thrilling event. However, it is important to remember that the mystical celebration can pose some unexpected spooks and haunts. The Doernbecher Tom Sargent Safety Center and the Oregon Poison Center at OHSU suggest the following tips to help keep your family and friends safe on Oct. 31:

Pick the perfect costume

  • Select a brightly colored outfit and utilize reflectors and flashlights to ensure you are visible at night.
  • Costumes that light up are very appealing; however, these products often contain small button batteries that can be extremely dangerous if swallowed. Avoid outfits, accessories and decorations that do not have a screw to keep the batteries in place.
  • Opt for costumes made of fire-resistant materials.
  • Beware of costumes that may present tripping or visibility hazards, such as capes or masks.

Treats … Not Tricks!

  • Children should not eat any treats until they are inspected by an adult. This is especially important given that marijuana products are now legal in Oregon.
  • Dispose of any candy that has loose or open wrappers.
  • Wash and cut up any fruit before eating.
  • If someone accidently ingests a toxic substance, immediately call the Oregon Poison Center at 1 800-222-1222.

Don’t get burned

  • Use battery-powered candles instead of real flame.
  • If you do use real candles, place your jack-o-lantern a safe distance from walkways or doorsteps.
  • Be sure your home is well lit for trick-or-treaters and other visitors.

Bring a buddy

  • All children should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating.
  • Make sure that children know their address and phone number in case they get separated from their group or chaperone.
  • If older children venture out in a group, set and review safety rules such as street safety, routes and emergency contacts.

About The Doernbecher Tom Sargent Safety Center

The OHSU Doernbecher Tom Sargent Safety Center is dedicated to reducing unintentional injuries in children through education and distribution of safety products. For more information, please call 503 418-5666 or visit for low cost safety products, educational materials or to find a car seat check-up event in your area.

About The Oregon Poison Center

The Oregon Poison Center at OHSU provides 24-hour emergency treatment information for people experiencing a poisoning or toxic exposure. Call the poison center at 1 800-222-1222 for all poison emergencies and questions.

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