October 13, 2011



Halloween brings jack-o-lanterns, whimsical costumes, and visits from young neighbors in disguise. The Nassau County Department of Health offers these Halloween safety tips to help keep this holiday safe and enjoyable.


  • If a child wants a carved jack-o-lantern, let an adult do the carving, or let the child use a knife especially designed for use by young children.
  • Use a small flashlight inside a pumpkin instead of a candle which may pose a fire hazard.
  • If a candle is used, light it only for short periods and keep it away from unsupervised youngsters as well as flammable furnishings.

Halloween Costumes

  • In choosing costumes, keep safety in mind. Trick-or-treaters need to see and be seen.
  • If a mask is part of a costume, make sure it will not slip and cover the eyes. The eyeholes should be large enough to see through clearly.
  • Consider using face paints or cosmetics to create an original "mask".
  • Hats and scarves should also be tied firmly, so that they do not restrict vision.
  • Select light colored costumes.
  • Attach reflective tape or stickers to costumes or footwear and to Halloween treat bags so that they can be seen more easily by motorists.

Visiting Neighborhoods

  • Small children need a supervising adult with them when trick-or- treating.
  • Have children carry flashlights to light their way and be more visible to motorists.
  • Walk on sidewalks where available.
  • If children must walk on a road, walk facing traffic.
  • Trick-or-treaters should go only to houses where they know the residents, and where the outside light is on.
  • Children should stay on the porch or outside steps to get their treats, and NEVER go into a home without an adult.


  • For treats, parents should consider healthy options to candy. Healthful prepackaged snacks such as raisins, or treats such as coins, stickers, sports cards or coupons from local businesses are a welcome alternative.
  • Children should be warned not to eat any food until an adult has inspected it at home. Unwrapped treats and those showing signs of tampering should be discarded.