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Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating

Photo caption: Ahead of Halloween, the REMSA Health team is introducing a new safety expert, Riley the Raccoon. Riley joins REMSA Health in sharing information to help parents, families and ghosts, goblins and witches stay safe during Halloween festivities. (Credit: REMSA Health)

RENO, Nev. – Trick-or-treating on Halloween is a fun tradition for children of all ages. REMSA Health has tips to keep the events spooky and safe this year.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips:

  • Small children should always be accompanied by an adult, guardian, or an older, responsible, sibling. 
  • Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into a stranger’s car.
  • They should stay on sidewalks, use crosswalks, look both ways before crossing a street and always be aware of car-traffic.
  • Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick, or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
  • If children are old enough and responsible enough to go out unaccompanied by an adult, plan a route with a group, through well-lit and populated areas of a familiar neighborhood. Advise them not to cut through dark alleyways and fields. Set a time for their return home and make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time.
  • Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, or school or community functions.
  • Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Ensure it is fireproof, low-hanging pieces or attachments don’t drag and cause trip hazards, and if your child is wearing a mask, the eyeholes are large enough for clear peripheral vision and there’s enough space to breathe well.
  • If your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe or a pitchfork, make sure the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.
  • Be prepared for weather and temperature changes, bring a jacket, a hat, or wear warm under layers.
  • Treating your kids to a spooky Halloween dinner will make them less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them.
  • Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home and can be examined by you. When the trick-or-treating ends, inspect all candy to ensure it’s properly sealed and looks safe to eat. 
  • Discuss the difference between tricks and vandalism. Things like “egging,” “toilet-papering,” or smashing pumpkins at a home would be considered vandalism. Subsequent clean up, paying for damages, or an arrest and a trip in a police car would certainly ruin the Halloween fun.
  • Explain that any form of animal cruelty is unacceptable. Kids may know this, but peer pressure can lead to poor decisions. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong, but also punishable by law.
  • If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, place them far enough out of the way to prevent catching a child’s costume on fire. Consider using an electric candle instead.
  • Pumpkin carving is great fun and children love to participate. Have them draw the face and pull out the gooey pulp and seeds! Leave the carving and use of sharp knives to the adult.


Media note: Videos and photos for Halloween safety, featuring Riley the Raccoon, are available for download here. Photo/video credit: REMSA Health.

About REMSA Health

REMSA Health is a private, non-profit community organization which provides a full range of innovative healthcare services outside of the hospital setting. We are funded only by user fees, with no local tax subsidies. REMSA Health provides Washoe County’s 420,000+ residents with 24/7 ambulance services. Care Flight, a service of REMSA Health, provides critical care transport services via ground and air ambulance across the western United States. REMSA Health includes an internationally accredited Regional Emergency Communications Center, a Nevada-licensed Center for Integrated Health and Community Education, Community Paramedics, an accredited Nurse Health Line, and special operations and special events teams. REMSA Health: Care. Community. Innovation.

Contact: Alexia Jobson, Director of Public Relations, REMSA,, 775-420-6246

Jena Esposito, Public Relations Manager, KPS3,, 702-513-0606


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