All Hallows Eve is usually associated with fun things like candy, trick or treating, and pumpkin carving. But it can also be scary, for children and adults alike. In addition to spooky costumes, there are other potential dangers for families to consider, especially during a pandemic.
When planning your festivities this year, keep these Halloween safety tips in mind (so no one ends up in the graveyard).
- General Advice
- Tips For Kids
- Keeping Adults Safe Too
- Protecting Homes
- COVID-19-Friendly Ideas
- TBD (Video)
- Stay Safe All Year
How To Stay Safe On Halloween
Later on, we’ll get into more specifics, but these are some essential tips for everyone to follow:
- Don’t keep candles burning in Jack-o’-lanterns or luminaries. Consider using battery-operated flames.
- You might also opt for a safer pumpkin “carving” by painting them or decorating with stickers.
- Look for flame-resistant costumes, wigs, and accessories and make sure your dress or outfit is the proper length and fit, so you don’t trip or catch fire.
- If applying face paint, be careful around the eyes and test for any skin allergies before using it.
- Avoid using contact lenses that alter the look or color of your eyes as they can be hazardous to your eye health.
- Use a flashlight, LED light, or apply reflective tape to your costume to see and be seen by others, including cars.
- If you wear a mask, test for full visibility out of the eye holes and proper breathability.
- If your costume requires a sword or weapon, do not swing it around and keep the pointed part away from yourself and others.
Halloween Safety Tips For Kids
Little ones should be our top priority, as they are especially vulnerable during this time of year. Here are some Halloween safety tips for children.
- Never let them go inside a home to accept candy, especially now with social distancing requirements.
- Inspect candy before eating. Check the contents of their bags and buckets for choking hazards and make sure candy is all properly sealed (throw away anything that’s been opened or is not packaged). It’s best to wait until you get home to indulge so you have better light to properly inspect each item.
- Have an allergy-safe Halloween. Review each label for any potentially harmful ingredients like peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, or gluten.
- Brush your teeth before bed. No one wants to suffer from a toothache from too much sugar or chocolate!
Halloween Safety Tips For Adults
Adults should be equally prepared to ensure they don’t get into any Halloween hazards.
When Trick Or Treating:
- Arm your home alarm system and lock the doors, so your valuables are safe while you’re out. You can also use the app to check your security camera for any suspicious activity.
- Stay in neighborhoods that are familiar to you.
- Avoid going out alone.
- Start early, and don’t stay out late.
- Walk, don’t run, between houses.
- Only cross the street at corners or crosswalks.
- Look both ways before crossing the street and walk on sidewalks, avoiding yards and streets where possible.
- Plan your route ahead of time to stay on the same side of the street (versus zigzagging back and forth).
- Keep kiddos in sight at all times and stay together as a household. Plan to have a meeting spot in case you get split up.
- Only approach homes that have a porch light on (or are obviously accepting trick or treaters).
- Double-check your shoelaces are tied and wear shoes that are easy to walk in (e.g., sneakers instead of boots with heels).
- If inclement weather is in the forecast, consider staying home for a virtual party with neighbors or friends.
Halloween Home Security Tips
Whether you plan to hit the streets or stay in, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Get a smart doorbell or outdoor security camera with night vision to see who’s at the door before you open it.
- Be careful using sharp knives to carve pumpkins. Keep a firm grip on the blade with your forefinger and thumb and consider using pumpkin-carving tools.
- Check the batteries in your smoke detector and test it before you light any candles.
- Turn on lights, so they know you’re home and accepting guests.
- Keep the entrance well-lit, so people can see the pathway to your door.
How To Celebrate Safely During A Pandemic
In 2020, Halloween will look a little different from usual. During the global COVID-19 crisis, it’s even more critical to get creative and keep physical health precautions top of mind. We put together some ideas for how you can celebrate a healthy Halloween this year.
Ways To Safely Trick Or Treat:
- Ensure everyone has a face covering and stays at least six feet away from others, including the person handing out candy.
- Go out in small family member-only groups.
- If your porch or driveway is big enough, put up a six-foot-long table so you can interact with kids from a safe distance.
- Use a face shield in addition to wearing a face mask when handing out candy.
- Leave candy on the doorstep in a bowl and put a sign up that encourages them to take a piece. Get creative with making a sign that says, “Don’t be a witch – take only one bag of candy per child.”
- Put out a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the bowl of candy (but don’t expect that all kids will use it).
- Hand out individually wrapped candy to prevent the spread of germs. Better yet, put candy in mini party favor bags and place one bag out at a time. Watch through the window or on your doorbell camera and, when it’s gone, replenish it.
COVID-19-Friendly Halloween Party Ideas
- Virtual “trick or treating” – Dress up, have a costume contest, play games, host a dance party, and make spooky treats virtually with your friends via Zoom or FaceTime.
- Movie night – Use Netflix Party to sync up and watch a scary movie together in real-time. Maybe someone in your neighborhood has a projector and could host an outdoor movie night.
- Halloween trunk or treat parade – Coordinate with your neighbors to have the kids dress up and sit in their front lawns while adults drive by and throw candy.
- Yard decoration contest – Organize with your neighbors and compete and vote on who has the scariest house. Families can dress up for the theme and wave to those that drive by to enjoy.
- Spooky scavenger hunt – Hide Halloween-themed items in the yard for the family or come up with a hunt all over town to various “haunted” spots to get info that leads to a big candy finish (maybe even a pinata!)
COVID-Inspired Costume Ideas
We expect to see lots of coronavirus related costumes this year, among kids and adults. Here are some fun ones to consider.
Video: Bring The Horror Home
Who needs to visit haunted houses when you can experience one from the comfort of your home? Turn off the lights and turn up the volume to have a spooky watching party.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/9cD11-nSeZE?controls=0&fs=0
Stay Safe… Year-Round
We hope these ideas help you stay safe on Halloween night. Most of all, have fun and don’t get spooked. There are other ways to protect yourself and your family throughout the year, including specific tips to be prepared during the most extreme weather months of winter and summer.
What tips do you have to have a happy Halloween?