Parents' Survival Guide to a Safe DIY Halloween

Make sure you’re playing it safe as you craft your way to Halloween.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
October 25, 2018
two little boys having fun at pumpkin patch around halloween time
Image: Benicat

There were about 4,500 Halloween related injuries last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). While the DIY trend is a crafty and cost-efficient alternative for Halloween fun, it’s not necessarily the best when it comes to safety.

Just ahead of All Hallows’ Eve, the CPSC released its safety guidelines for parents to keep in mind as they DIY their way to Halloween.


Make sure those ingenious ideas you found on Pinterest are actually safe before you deck your kids out head to toe.

  • Use bright colors of polyester or nylon fabrics. Sheer cotton and rayon fabrics can quickly burn if there is contact with an open flame.
  • Avoid baggy costumes—many injuries last year involved trips and falls.
  • Eye and nose holes in masks should allow for full visibility and breathing room. If you want to avoid the risks altogether, use makeup as an alternative.
  • Use reflective tape as a trim for costumes and outerwear. A bright flashlight or glow stick can also help illuminate walkways for trick-or-treaters.


Of course you want to spookify your house, but make sure your Halloween décor isn’t putting anyone in danger.

  • Skip the candles and use battery-operated lights and glow sticks instead.
  • Placement is key. To help prevent trick-or-treating falls, remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches.
  • When hanging decorations in those hard-to-reach places, be sure to refer to CPSC’s ladder safety tips to prevent injuries.
  • Use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Dump anything even slightly damaged.

Pumpkin Carving

Last year, 41 percent of Halloween injuries were related to pumpkin carving activities, according to the CSPC. Here’s how you can prevent it:

  • Leave the carving to adults. Kids can grab a spoon and scoop out the inside, or use a marker to trace the template.
  • Consider using a battery-operated light rather than a candle.

Caution is key. For more Halloween safety guidelines, check out The Bump’s top safety tips for parents of trick-or-treating tots.

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