Tricks for Keeping Halloween Safe and Fun
As Halloween approaches, many families are wondering if it’s safe to celebrate with the usual pre-pandemic festivities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding crowded Halloween parties and that trick-or-treating be limited to outdoors only and in small groups.
BayCare Kids Wellness and Specialty Specialist Michelle Sterling adds that with appropriate precautions, it can still be a night of spooky fun for your little ghouls and goblins.
“By following recommended safety guidelines, your family can still enjoy some of your favorite Halloween traditions and maybe even create a few new ones,” said Sterling.
She offers the following tips for keeping Halloween a treat for those families forgoing traditional trick-or-treating:
- Go all out with the Halloween decorations. Keep it budget-friendly by having your kids help create decorations to hang from windows, trees, mailbox, etc. You could even turn one of your bedrooms into a kid-friendly haunted house.
- Decorate doors inside your house and let your little ones go trick-or-treating indoors. Get the whole family involved with mom or dad behind one door, an older sibling behind another and grandparents behind yet another door.
- Set up a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt in and around your house. Provide clues and leave treats along the route.
- Turn up your spooky Halloween music and have a dance party with your children. Organize a virtual Halloween party and let your family and friends show off their best dance moves.
- Set up a projector in the back yard and watch your favorite Halloween movies.
- If you plan to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home, instead of handing out candy at your door consider arranging individual treat bags on a table in your driveway or near front door for a contact-less handoff.
If you choose to take your child trick-or-treating, Sterling recommends these important safety guidelines:
- Practice social distancing when near people outside your trick-or-treating group.
- Apply hand sanitizer frequently while trick-or-treating.
- Avoid eating candy until after you return home and can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Be sure to also follow regular Halloween safety tips.
“Pedestrian safety tops the Halloween hazard list. It is important for parents and caregivers to remind their trick-or-treaters about walking safely and sharing the road with drivers before they leave their house,” said Sterling. “This includes only crossing street at corners and using traffic signals and crosswalks, looking left, right and left again when crossing, and putting electronic devices down and keeping heads up.”
To be sure kids can easily be seen by drivers, Sterling suggests they wear costumes with light or bright colors, carry flashlights or glow sticks, use reflective trick-or-treat bags or have reflective tape on their costumes.
“Typically, children under age 12 should not trick-or-treat without adult supervision,” she adds. “If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without supervision, make sure they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.”