By Ben Horn
As Halloween approaches and families prepare for trick-or-treating and other fun-filled activities, it is important to keep safety in mind so that you and your loved ones can enjoy a stress-free holiday.
For Halloween 2020, local parents such as Marie Wilson adapted measures in their communities to ensure a safe and fun holiday.
“Last year, our community organized a ‘no-knock’ Halloween where families set the candy outside so that social-distancing was maintained,” said Wilson. “Parents created a map identifying which houses were participating, and the children had fun with this treasure hunt element.”
Although communities may choose the social distancing approach to Halloween again this year, trick-or-treating is back for 2021—and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means there are extra factors to consider when planning your activities. The American Red Cross offers the following tips and more to help keep you and your loved ones safe:
- Incorporate your child’s safety mask into their costume and be sure not to substitute a Halloween mask for a safety mask.
- Plan outdoor activities in your community to avoid indoor gatherings where the virus could be spread.
- Bring hand sanitizer since you and your child will be touching many different surfaces in your neighborhood.
- Use a flashlight to see and be seen. Consider also applying reflective tape to Halloween costumes and candy bags.
- Plan your trick-or-treat route in advance so that you are familiar with where you are taking your child.
- Stay alert for animals in your neighborhood. They might be frightened by those scary costumes!
- Only visit well-lit houses and never go inside homes you do not know.
- Check your child’s candy bag for any safety issues. Remove loose candy, candy with open wrappers, and any candy that may be a choking hazard.
For those welcoming trick-or-treaters to their homes, utilize some of these safety precautions:
- Deliver candy to trick-or-treaters outside the entrance of your home.
- Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters by setting up an area outside your home where the treats are individually bagged.
- Always maintain a safe distance and make sure you wear your safety mask when greeting trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure your home is well-lit and the entrance is swept up and free of objects.
For further resources to help keep your family safe this Halloween, download the free Red Cross First Aid App for expert advice; and download the free Red Cross Emergency App for weather alerts and to let others know you are safe if severe weather occurs. Have a Happy Halloween!