Clown, princess, firefighter or one of the many Superheroes; yes, it’s Halloween and the perfect time to pick the best costume for your child.

It’s no secret parents as much as children look forward to Halloween every year with its trick-or-treating, costumes, pumpkin carving, house decorations and lots of treats. While Halloween is a unique holiday it also comes with some equally unique safety considerations. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is reminding consumers to make safety a priority this Halloween via a news release.

Halloween-Related Injuries

From October through November 2018, CPSC estimates 4,500 Halloween-related injuries 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 use 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 finished, use battery-operated lights rather than an open-flame candle.

Costume Creating DIY-style 

  • When selecting fabric for DIY costumes, opt for polyester or nylon and not sheer cotton or rayon which can burn more rapidly. Any fabric can burn if it comes in contact with an open flame.
  • Use care and NEVER 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.

Creative Decorating:

  • Prevent fires by using battery-operated lights and glow sticks instead of candles.
  • Pay attention to the 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!

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to or call CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired.

CPSC Consumer Information Hotline
Contact us at this toll-free number if you have questions about a recall:
800-638-2772 (TTY 301-595-7054)
Times: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET; Messages can be left anytime
Call to get product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission