There are about 73 million people in the United States under the age of 18, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and all of them could potentially trick-or-treat, as most towns do not have age limits — and even those that do (like this city in Virginia) aren’t out cracking down on older teens.
“You are never too old!” Aneisha McMillan, of the Halloween Costume Association, told FOX Television Stations. “I live in a quaint little town in Michigan and my kids range from 7 to 24, and all of them will be trick-or-treating.”
And according to a 2021 poll from YouGov, plenty of folks agree with McMillan. Researchers said more than a quarter of responders thought kids were never too old to trick-or-treat. The second highest age agreed upon was age 12, with 12% of the vote.
No matter what age kids and teens stop trick-or-treating — and many stop naturally, opting to go to parties instead — the Emily Post Institute says people handing out candy should be kind to all who arrive at their door.
“Masked teenagers (or even adults) at the door might seem ridiculous or even intimidating, but try to take it in stride and hand out some treats anyway,” an Emily Post blog post stated. “After all, Halloween is an occasion for teens to enjoy just as younger kids do. For many teens, it’s one of the last vestiges of childhood that they can still participate in.”
When it comes to Halloween safety, adults are reminded to go trick-or-treating with any children under 12 and to bring flashlights and other visibility-enhancing items to keep your group safe.
As always, any candy that appears already opened or tampered with should be tossed in the trash.
The CDC, of course, recommends children and adults alike refrain from eating too much junk food and sweets during the holiday season. Instead, they say parents should offer plenty of fruits and vegetables and make sure their household gets plenty of sleep to ensure healthy lifestyles.