Trick-or-treat safety tips from West Virginia Poison Center


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Scare away poisons this Halloween with trick-or-treat safety tips from the West Virginia Poison Center.

Halloween is a time for fun and treats for princes, princesses and superheroes, but experts at the West Virginia Poison Center (WVPC) warn parents to use caution and to keep safety in mind for their trick-or-treater.

“Halloween and trick-or-treating is a time of excitement for children. Unfortunately, many poisonings occur when a person’s normal routines are disrupted,” said Carissa McBurney, Community Outreach Coordinator for the West Virginia Poison Center.


When in doubt, throw it out. WVPC explained that parents should always inspect any and all Halloween candy before eating it. Throw away all candy with wrappers that are faded, torn, unwrapped or partially wrapped. WVPC also explains that feeding children dinner before heading out will lower the chances of children taking a quick bit of candy before it has been inspected.

The WVPC advised parents in the release that homemade treats should be approached with extra caution. Parents should allow children to eat homemade treats from people they know very well.

Do not store Halloween candy near medicine of any kind. Children can easily mistake medicine for candy.

Eating too much candy can cause stomach aches and diarrhea from an overload of sweeteners. The WVPC said that small, hard pieces of candy can be a choking hazard for young children. Throw away any candy that is not age appropriate.

Remember pets! Chocolate can be poisonous for dogs, as can sugar-free gum. Store any candy where pets cannot get to it.


Think safety. The WVPC suggests to only paint faces with paint labeled as being non-toxic and for use on the face.

Glow sticks, glow necklaces and glow bracelets are great as long as the liquid does not leak. Make sure glow products children are using are not leaking and that they do not put them into their mouths.

The WVPC suggests that parents avoid the use of costume jewelry. Products made outside of the U.S. may contain lead which can be harmful if swallowed. If the decision to use costume jewelry is made, make sure it is intact before it is put on and after it is taken off. Do not let children suck on it or put it in their mouth. Do not allow children to play with it after Halloween is over.


The WVPC said that it is important to handle dry ice properly. Parents should be cautious that children avoid exposure to the mouth or skin and should keep dry ice in well ventilated areas.

Alcoholic beverages should be completely out of reach to children and pets. Those participating in such activities should immediately clean up any left-over containers following the Halloween party.

Poisoned? Not Sure?

Call the medical experts at the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with questions regarding all Halloween poisoning concerns. If a poisoning is suspected, call the WVPC immediately; do not wait for symptoms to appear.

To learn more about the Poison Center and how to stay safe from other types of poisons, visit the WVPC website by clicking here.

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