Unsafe Footwear Frightful for Trick-or-Treat – Keep Kids Safe on Their FEET this Halloween!

Unsafe Footwear Frightful for Trick-or-Treat – Keep Kids Safe on Their FEET this Halloween!
Oct 12, 2012 - Oct 31, 2012


“Trick-or-Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!”  That familiar refrain will soon fill the chilly night air of All Hallows Eve (Halloween), with gleeful children reciting the familiar rhyme as they go from house to house in search of treats to fill their goodie bags.  Nothing puts the breaks on an evening of trick-or-treating faster than having to call it an early night because of a painful blister or sore-spot on the foot, or a sprained ankle.  Parents can help to keep their little ghosts, ghouls and goblins on their feet and by avoiding many of these problems with proper fitting footwear for fright night.

“Halloween and Trick-or-Treating is essentially an exercise in walking, as little witches, wizards and werewolves tramp from door-to-door in search of both treats and frights,” said Carolyn McAloon, DPM, President-Elect of the California Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA).  “And, wearing unsafe and uncomfortable shoes during trick-or-treating is not only dangerous, but sure to make for a short night, and very unhappy little ones.  Save the princess slippers and Frankenstein boots for playtime at home; instead have your little ones wear comfortable, well fitting shoes that are already broken in, with good arch and heel support (preferably with nonskid soles) and with strong, solid, straight and firm lacing.  Be on shoelace alert, also, and double-tie them before going out.  Shoes are also a great place to apply bright reflective tape to help trick-or-treaters be seen in the dark.”

“Preventing falls while trick-or-treating is also important,” said Dr. McAloon a podiatric physician in private practice in Castro Valley, California and the mother of two young children.  “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween, when children are four times more likely to fall than any other night of the year.  Wearing proper fitting shoes can help reduce falls.  Other measures that can help diminish falls during trick-or-treating is to make sure costumes stop at the ankle and are loose enough to walk with ease.  Don’t wait until Halloween to have children try on the costumes for the first time.

“Give yourself adequate time to make any necessary adjustments.  Make sure masks don’t obscure vision; better yet use face paint.  Remind children to watch out for pumpkins and other decorations on lawns, porches and steps, since they also pose a tripping hazard.”

Other Safety Tips from CPMA to Help Ensure a Safe and Happy Halloween:

  • Talk with children about trick-or-treating safety BEFORE the big day, when they will be much too excited to pay attention.
  • Responsible adults should accompany young children trick-or-treating, and older children should go and stay in groups if no parent is available.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • NEVER enter homes of strangers.
  • Don’t crisscross the road – go up one side of the street and down the other side
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Wear flame resistant costumes
  • Stay away from open flames.
  • Stay away from pets you don’t know.
  • Make sure children know to NEVER eat goodies until parents have had had a chance to inspect them.
  • Remember not everyone celebrates Halloween.  So, avoid homes with lights off.
  • Do not run through yards or gardens.
  • Set a curfew and have children wear a wrist watch, preferably with a light face.
  • Give them a cell phone in case of emergencies
  • And insist on good etiquette – no pushing or shoving, which also prevents injuries.


CPMA: Committed to Keeping Californians on Their Feet –
Healthy, Active and Productive!