The time for ghosts, goblins and sticky sweets is approaching faster than you can say “Boo!” OK, maybe not that fast, but it is time to start preparing for a safe Halloween.
This year, if you plan to trick-or-treat or hand out candy, please keep these tips in mind for a fun and healthy outing:
- Get everyone 12 and older vaccinated so they can start to build their immunity.
- Stay outdoors if you gather with people from another household.
- Keep six feet of distance from the zombie dragons and pirates you pass. Even with the best of intentions, it’s hard to predict whether a child will be able to maintain distance while trick-or-treating.
- Wear a proper face covering. A plastic costume mask is not a COVID-safe face covering.
- Remember it’s not safe to wear a costume mask over a face covering, but decorating a child’s face covering might bring an added touch of fun to their costume!
- Also remember it’s not safe for children younger than 2 to wear a mask.
- Pay attention when going door-to-door. If one house looks a bit crowded with fellow trick-or-treaters, try another house that isn’t as busy – you can always go back to that house later.
- When trunk-or-treating:
- consider arriving very early so you can be in front of the crowd when walking from trunk to trunk.
- Leave space between your group and the group in front of you.
- Allow the group in front of you to leave a trunk before you approach it.
A few extra considerations:
- Choose practical shoes. Even little ones who ask to be carried on most days may suddenly find that they can’t walk a marathon on Halloween.
- Carry a flashlight or glowstick or put reflective tape on costumes to help other people and drivers spot little goblins and superheroes.
- Discard candy if the wrapper is torn.
- Bring along hand sanitizer to use when needed.
A special note about the one in 13 children living with food allergies: The Teal Pumpkin Project helps make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive by asking people to offer non-food trinkets and treats that are safe for everyone. You can participate by placing a teal pumpkin on your porch or front steps. Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has more information about living with food allergies here.
Lastly, a reminder to drivers. Please slow down and be alert! Kids are excited and may run into the street. It’s a good day to turn on your headlights early so trick-or-treaters can see you and you can spot them from farther away.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more tips for safe trick-or-treating here.