For the fourth year in a row, the New Jersey Poison Center, based at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, has seen an increase in calls concerning kids accidentally exposed to marijuana edibles at home. Halloween may increase the risks of a child mistaking edibles in the home for Halloween candy.

Diane Calello, Executive and Medical Director of the New Jersey Poison Center, is available to discuss safety measures parents should take during Halloween.

The following quotes from Dr. Calello can be used for pick-up:

“We understand that it is highly unlikely someone would intentionally give out marijuana edibles to children on Halloween. However, we are on alert each October because of the increased risk of children mistaking potentially dangerous products like edibles and prescription and over-the-counter medicines for Halloween candy at home. At all times, adults should keep medications and marijuana edibles locked up, out of sight and out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental exposure,” she says.

“Halloween-related mishaps and accidents involving potential poisons go beyond the fear of contaminated candy,” she continues. “Our medical professionals get calls throughout the night about many things — from glow sticks to face paint; allergic reactions to food poisoning; belly aches to marijuana edibles; and chemical burns to alcohol poisoning.”

The Poison Control Center also issues the following Halloween safety advice:

  • Avoid homemade treats when trick-or-treating.
  • Teach kids that medicine is not candy. Lock up medicines to prevent accidental poisoning.
  • Use non-toxic makeup to paint faces and body parts. Test on a small area of skin to be sure it will not cause an allergic reaction.
  • Dry ice can cause severe burns and frostbite if it touches the skin or is swallowed. Use gloves to protect your skin.
  • Look out for potentially dangerous products that look like candy.
  • Keep your pets safe from poisoning from candies, chocolates and other Halloween-related items. Chocolate, cocoa, candy and anything sugarless can be poisonous to pets. Artificial sweeteners like xylitol can cause severe illness if pets eat products containing this ingredient. Keep dangerous products up high and out of sight and reach of pets. If any of these items are swallowed, get help fast.

See more safety tips for a fun and safe Halloween celebration – safety video.


Calling the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 is always the fastest way to get the medical help or information you need to prevent further injury.