Halloween is an exciting time for children because of the treats and the costumes. Halloween is a family tradition as children go trick-or-treating in costume with an outstretched treat bag for candy. Once again, this year, things are likely to be different.
With COVID-19 still around and it’s best to avoid the traditional Halloween celebration of door-to-door trick-or-treating as it can increase the risk of transmission and infection. However, this does not mean you have to cancel Halloween.
Here are some low-risk options for you to consider.
- You can decorate your home, apartment, or living space.
- Carve pumpkins or have a Halloween movie night with your family members. You could also organize a scavenger hunt in and around your home.
- Consider hosting a virtual Halloween costume party with family and friends.
(Mayo Clinic Health System, 2020)
Halloween Safety Tips
It’s estimated that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween night than on other nights of the year. Parents and caregivers must plan and supervise children to ensure that Halloween celebrations are safe. Here are some Halloween safety tips to keep in mind to help you stay safe and have fun.
Choose bright colored and flame-retardant clothes and wigs. If your child is outdoors after dark, it’s best to attach reflective tape to their costume. Children should wear clothes and shoes of the right size, so they don’t trip. Keep accessories like wands or knives to a minimum.
Avoid masks that can obstruct the children’s vision. Instead, you can use non-toxic make-up. Before going to bed, make sure all make-up is removed. (Mayo Clinic, 2019)
When Pumpkin Carving
It’s best to leave the pumpkin carving to an adult and consider alternatives to carving. Children can use glitter glue, paint, or markers to draw faces on pumpkins and decorate them.
When using candle-lit pumpkins, ensure that the pumpkin is placed on a sturdy surface and away from flammable objects like curtains. Consider using glow sticks or pumpkins with flashlights as a safer option.
If children are out during trick or treat hours or you plan to go trick-or-treating, there are things to remember.
It’s ideal to have a responsible adult accompany the children on the neighborhood rounds. If the children will be out without an adult, plan a familiar route and set a curfew time for the children.
Remind both adults and children that they must not use electronic devices when walking. They must keep their head up when walking and not run across the street.
Reinforce the rules of walking only on the sidewalk, never going inside a home for a treat, and approaching only well-lit homes.
Teach the children not to eat any candy while they’re out trick-or-treating. Always check the treats before your children eat them. If any treats look old, without seals, or the packaging looks questionable, discard it.
With young children, candies that are hard or contain peanuts could be a choking hazard. Always check the labels before giving the candy to the children, especially if they have any food allergies.
Driving Safety for Motorists
When entering and exiting driveways, slow down and drive carefully. Motorists should take extra care to look for children walking on curbs, medians, or intersections. Always stay alert and avoid distractions like using the phone while driving. (Safe Kids Worldwide)
Along with trick-or-treating, Halloween parties are also being discouraged this year to reduce the COVID-19 transmission risk. Suppose families have planned activities with friends or members of other households. In that case, the event should be held outdoors instead of indoors. There should be adequate open-air space so that people can maintain a safe distance of more than 6 feet. Social distancing guidelines must always be followed, and cloth masks should be worn in public. Everyone must wash their hands frequently with soap and water.
While the traditional Halloween season may be unpredictable, we hope these tips help you and your family have a safe and fun-filled time.
Mayo Clinic Health System. “Halloween Safety: Tips During Covid-19.” Mayo Clinic Health System, Oct. 2020, www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/halloween-safety-tips-during-covid-19.
Mayo Clinic. “Halloween Safety: Tips for Trick-or-Treaters.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 Oct. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/halloween-safety/art-20044976.
Safe Kids Worldwide. “Halloween Safety Tips.” Safe Kids Worldwide, www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips.