Halloween is an incredibly special time of year for both adults and children, but many festivities were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous Americans are planning Halloween activities this year despite the pandemic, so it’s critical to know how to stay safe while celebrating. The director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rochelle Walensky stated that it’s okay for families to trick-or-treat, but they need to practice extra caution.
The CDC recently updated their guide for celebrating holidays on their website, so we recommend reading their full list of ways to celebrate safely here. Additionally, there are non-COVID-19 precautions you should follow to keep your family safe during this Halloween season. In this blog, we offer invaluable tips for COVID-19 safety as well as additional guidance for common seasonal safety hazards.
Whether you’re out on the town or escorting your kids while they trick-or-treat, it’s critical that you avoid crowds and large gatherings. Consider how many people will be present for any festivities that you may engage in. You should also take into account whether you and your family will be able to keep a safe distance from other people.
The CDC does not provide the exact number of people within a crowd that you should avoid, but consider scrutinizing your plans and try to only celebrate with smaller gatherings of people made up of close friends and family. Fortunately, trick-or-treating is relatively safe compared to indoor gatherings.
Although you should always practice safe driving, you need to be especially careful on Halloween because of trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians. If you plan on driving during a time in which there may be active trick-or-treaters or pedestrians, stay vigilant while on the road and watch for walkers on roadways, intersections, curbs, and medians. Additionally, you should also make sure to be extra careful when entering or exiting driveways and alleys where your line of sight may be limited.
Another safety hazard to consider is the fact that many trick-or-treaters and pedestrians will be dressed in dark clothing. Once dusk hits, you need to keep a close eye out for those dressed in dark clothing because they’ll be harder to see, especially if they’re children. You need to also be watchful while traveling through residential neighborhoods. Peak trick-or-treating hours occur between 5:30 PM and 9:30 PM, so stay on the lookout for kids on the road during those hours. Consider turning on your headlights early in the day so that you can spot kids and pedestrians from a greater distance.
Follow CDC Guidelines When Trick-Or-Treating
If you plan on escorting your kids from house to house, you should consider abiding by the CDC guidelines for avoiding the transmission of COVID-19. Some of the CDC guidelines include staying a distance of 6 feet apart from others, wearing a protective mask, washing or sanitizing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezing, and disinfecting surfaces.
Although it may be challenging to stay in total alignment with CDC recommendations while trick-or-treating, you and your children need to stay as safe as possible to avoid COVID-19 transmission. Consider traveling with only a small group of three or four people, and don’t have your kids trick-or-treat with the entire neighborhood.
Remain Safe While Trick-Or-Treating
In addition to assisting your children in preventing the transmission of COVID-19, you should also teach your kids how to remain safe while trick-or-treating, especially if you’re not escorting them. Set a specific time at which they need to return home, and make sure that they follow a well-lit walking route that you’re familiar with. Additionally, you should instruct kids to never enter a stranger’s car or home. You should also instruct your children to not eat any of the candy until they return home in case of food allergies.
Cars are another significant safety hazard on Halloween, and just as you need to drive extra carefully, you also need to instruct your children to practice caution to avoid being hit. Tragically, kids are twice as likely to be killed by a passing vehicle on Halloween than on other days of the year. Instruct your kids to avoid distractions, such as cellphone use, while walking. Additionally, you need to teach your kids to look both ways multiple times before crossing a street and to walk on designated pedestrian walkways when possible.
Explore Other Ways of Celebrating Halloween
Although the CDC director said it’s acceptable to trick-or-treat as long as you practice precautions, you may still feel uncomfortable and want to celebrate in different ways. You can still participate in holiday favorites that may be safer than going from house to house. Your family can participate in hayrides, visit pumpkin patches, and explore corn mazes, but you need to make sure that the business owners are in accordance with CDC guidelines for limiting the number of people allowed in an area as well as mask mandates.
Halloween is a special time of year, especially for children, but you need to make sure to stay safe while celebrating this year. Follow CDC guidelines and consider our safety tips to have a fun and safe celebration.