October 8, 2020
Halloween may look a little different this year, but children and adults across the country are still excited to safely celebrate this spooky holiday!
This year, Halloween brings its own unique concerns. Trick-or-treaters and candy givers alike need to consider social distancing and public health concerns. Luckily, if you do decide to trick or treat or give out candy, you can make Halloween safer by taking a few precautions.
Due to COVID-19, some cities are cancelling trick-or-treating altogether or are calling on participants to limit in-person contact and group gatherings. This year, the CDC is recommending against traditional trick-or-treating in lieu of safer, lower risk options to commemorate Halloween. Be sure to find out what the guidelines are where you live, since each city has its own set of rules and regulations.
Safer Trick-or-Treating Options
Remember: wearing a costume mask does not offer the same health benefits as wearing a protective facemask or covering. So, this year, incorporate a protective and festive look into your Halloween costume by wearing a Halloween-themed cloth facemask. Be sure to not wear a protective mask under a costume mask because it may result in breathing problems. Here are just a few more of the CDC’s safe alternatives to conventional trick-or-treating:
- Watch spooky Halloween movies at home with your loved ones
- Carve and display decorated pumpkins. You can even do this outside with friends or neighbors – just be sure to keep a safe distance!
- Host a virtual Halloween costume contest via FaceTime or Zoom
- Have a Halloween scavenger hunt. Give children a list of Halloween-themed items to look for while walking between houses around your neighborhood
Safer Ways to Give Out Candy
Because in-person contact is not recommended this year, safely giving out candy is tricky – but it is still possible! Some people are making their own contactless treat delivery systems. Inventive ideas include using tubes (or “candy chutes”) to deliver candy or putting out individually, pre-wrapped bags of candy on hauntingly decorated tables. Some cities are also recommending that parents sanitize treat bags and candy wrappers before eating. These systems keep trick-or-treaters and residents from coming into direct contact with one another while still giving them ample opportunity to embrace the holiday spirit. Consider also having hand sanitizer on your candy table.
Other Safety Considerations for Trick-or-Treaters
Some other safety concerns during Halloween include dangerous car and pedestrian accidents. Even some Halloween costumes and props can create various hazards for wearers.
According to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 50% of motor vehicle deaths that occur on Halloween night involve drunk drivers. Unsurprisingly, drinking-related citations go up on Halloween night, too. Sources estimate that police issue 4.5 times more violations to impaired drivers that evening than on others. Car accidents involving drunk drivers can cause serious nonfatal and fatal injuries. They are entirely preventable by pledging to never drive while impaired.
Additional, children out trick-or-treating are often victims of pedestrian accidents. Global nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW) provides a variety of Halloween safety tips that concerned parents, caregivers, trick-or-treaters, and drivers can take to limit avoidable accidents and injuries. Kids and teens who plan to walk around or trick-or-treat on Halloween night should always cross the street at designated intersections, like at a pedestrian crosswalk or a stop sign. SKW also recommends that trick-or-treaters:
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them
- Avoid distractions like listening to music, texting, or talking on the phone
- Keep an eye out for cars that are backing up, turning, or pulling out of parking spots
- Look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street
- Walk – not run – when crossing a street
- Have trusted adult supervision depending on age
- Wear glow sticks or other reflective devices so that cars can see you at night
Even costumes can come with their own associated hazards. Hem costumes above the shoe to prevent slips and falls. If you or your child is going to be using makeup, test it on a small patch of skin before applying it in order to avoid having an uncomfortable or potentially serious allergic reaction. Avoid using sharp accessories or dangerous props like swords, daggers, or long poles.
Have a Fun-Filled and Safe Halloween!
Halloween is an exciting and fun-filled holiday, so drivers need to be extra cautious. Just like trick-or-treaters need to avoid distractions, so should drivers. That means no using a cell phone, eating, drinking, or fiddling around with the car radio. SKW also recommends that drivers turn their headlights on earlier than usual, driving slowly and being particularly alert in residential neighborhoods where greater numbers of children are likely to be outside, and entering and exiting driveways and alleyways carefully.
Our team at Galfand Berger is wishing you and your loved ones a very happy, spooky, and safe Halloween! If you have a question or concern, someone can help. Contact a representative online now.
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