Tips to having a spooktacular and safe Halloween

Oct. 28, 2022

Whether your Halloween plans are for mākua or keiki, there’s plenty to consider before choosing a costume, putting on makeup, and filling your ‘opu with sweet treats.

To help you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and happy Halloween, here are some tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.


  • Children are more than twice as likely to be in a pedestrian accident on Halloween than on any other day of the year. To keep your keiki safe, have them wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape so they’ll be more visible.
  • Have them wear costumes that say “flame resistant” on the label. If you make your keiki’s costume, use fabrics such as polyester or nylon.
  • Encourage your children to wear makeup and hats rather than costume masks that can obscure vision.
  • Test the makeup you plan to use at least 24 hours in advance. Put a small amount on your keiki’s arm. Signs of irritation developing where the makeup was applied is a sign of a possible allergy.
  • Don’t let your child wear colored contact lenses due to the risk of eye injury, unless you have seen an eye care professional for a proper fitting and instructions for use.
  • Put a nametag including your phone number on your children's costumes.


  • Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
  • Give your kids a small snack before heading out, to avoid the temptation of nibbling on a treat before it has been inspected.
  • In case of a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Tell children not to accept or eat anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  • Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, hard candies, or small toys from the Halloween bags.
  • Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

Older teens may be at various social events throughout the Halloween weekend or even the upcoming holiday season. The Drug Enforcement Administration continues to spread the word about the dangers of rainbow fentanyl, which may be showing up at parties for teens and young adults. Rainbow fentanyl- colorful candylike synthetic opioids, 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine are dangerous and use is rising. The DEA does not believe that younger children are at risk this Halloween, but this is a good opportunity to talk with your teens and young adults about rainbow fentanyl and other substances.

Talking with teens about rainbow fentanyl: Explain the reality

An effective conversation with youth about fentanyl will focus on listening and facts, not judgment. We know that youth want the adults in their lives to trust them with information and support them in making decisions. Simply telling kids “don’t do drugs” may cause those most at risk to just tune out.

Listen first: Ask your teen non-judgmental questions. Is rainbow fentanyl something that you’ve heard about on the news, or at school? What have you heard? Do you think the risks are exaggerated? Where and when do you think teens your age are likely to start using pills and why? Even if teens seem to tune you out, continue to provide non-judgmental support and frequent conversations. Research tells us that parents and supportive influential adults can and do make a difference in whether a youth will engage in at-risk behaviors.

It’s also an opportunity to provide factual information to teens. Teens need to know that fentanyl-laced drugs are widespread, and that the first dose can be deadly.

Be clear about the risk
An amount of fentanyl the size of two grains of salt is enough to cause a fatal overdose. It’s tasteless, odorless, and impossible to see: There’s no way to know by looking at a pill or powder whether it contains a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl.

It’s helpful for teens to know that the person selling or sharing the drugs may not even know the pills contain fentanyl. The danger is not limited to drugs bought from a stranger on the street or online. Adults should dispel the myth that drugs from “trusted sources,” including friends or known dealers, are safe. They are not. Pills and powders from any source (besides a medical provider or pharmacy) should be assumed to contain this deadly ingredient, making every dose a risk.


Halloween health & safety tips
American Academy of Pediatrics

Simple steps for an extra safe Halloween
National Safety Council

What every parent should know about fake pills, including Fentanyl
Drug Enforcement Administration

Tips for talking to teens and young adults about drugs during the holidays
Drug Enforcement Administration