Each October leading up to Halloween, people celebrate the spooky season by attending costume parties, visiting haunted houses, decorating their houses, navigating corn mazes and stocking up on yummy treats to hand out to trick-or-treating children. Celebrating all Hallow's Eve is an American tradition but it's important to keep Halloween safety tips top of mind, especially as the pandemic continues on.
We know that adults and children alike love this holiday, so we've done our research to outline Halloween safety tips to keep you and your apartment community safe this holiday season.
Pandemic aside, Halloween can have some frightening consequences if people don't follow proper Halloween safety tips. Here are some ways to keep kids safe as they dress up and gather their treats (or tricks!)
It's easy to get caught up on those tiny screens and become distracted from what's going on around you. It's smart to keep a phone with you in case you need to make a call, but put it away while you're walking or driving to keep everyone safe on Halloween.
On Halloween night, children and parents are walking through the streets and door to door. With so many people on the roads, it's essential for parents to teach their children safe walking tips. Make sure you always walk on sidewalks when you can. If sidewalks aren't an option, teach your children to walk against traffic and watch for cars. Also, teach children how to properly cross a street by looking both ways.
As for drivers, go extra slow on Halloween, check your blind spots and don't assume that children saw your car. By practicing safe walking and driving, everyone will have a safe, not scary, Halloween.
Apartment communities can be complicated to navigate as there may be multiple buildings and floors throughout the complex. Before you go out trick-or-treating, map out a safe walking route and practice it with your children. Show them memorable landmarks and how to make it home safely in case they get lost or separated. This will help prevent lost, wandering children and help keep kids safe throughout the apartment community.
Is it even Halloween if you don't dress up? Regardless of your costume, it's smart to do a costume safety check before the big night. Make sure your costume is the right size so it doesn't pose a tripping hazard.
You'll also want to buy costumes that are fire-resistant in case of an accident. And don't forget to put on reflective tape and carry a flashlight or glow stick so you'll be seen in the dark.
Wearing a mask has become normal since the start of the pandemic. But before that, masks were a staple of Halloween gear. This year, masking up is important to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19, and you can even make it a part of your costume.
The CDC cautions against using a costume mask as a substitute for a cloth mask “unless it's made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn't leave gaps around your face." And you don't want to wear a costume mask over a cloth mask “because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask."
Halloween is the one night a year where taking candy from strangers is OK. However, it's essential that you teach your children about stranger danger so they know what's safe and what's not year-round. Explain to your kids that they should never take candy or other treats from strangers unless they're with their parents on Halloween. Teach them to never enter someone's home, too.
If someone gives you unwrapped candy, throw it away. Only consume wrapped treats that are wrapped and where the seal isn't broken. Also, if you're not sure where the treat came from or if it's homemade, you may consider tossing it to stay extra safe.
While you can't catch the virus from a candy wrapper, it's a general best practice to only consume food that is wrapped, sealed and fresh. According to the World Health Organization, you won't get coronavirus from food (or candy) packaging materials. Just remember to wash your hands properly after handling food packages and before eating.
These general Halloween safety tips are applicable to everyone. Follow these guidelines to ensure that everyone is safe, happy and in a sugar coma by the end of the night.
Apartment residents face unique risks during the pandemic because of their close proximity to one another. To celebrate Halloween responsibly this year, here are some Halloween safety tips that'll be beneficial for everyone.
The good news is that Halloween is usually an outdoor event, people wear masks and there's no risk of catching the virus from a candy wrapper. With that being said, we've broken down typical Halloween activities by risk level so you can make an educated decision before participating in any of these traditional activities.
In general, low-risk activities include anything outdoors where people are vaccinated, practicing social distancing or when you're with your immediate family only. These activities can include:
Medium-risk activities could be indoors or outdoors in places where some people are vaccinated but wearing masks and where there are more crowds. These activities would include:
High-risk activities usually take place indoors with lots of people who may or may not be vaccinated or wearing masks. These activities may include:
Of course, if you or your children have any symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell — you should sit this one out. Stay home and watch a scary movie instead.
If you do want to attempt to trick or treat, the best way to do so is to limit the number of people you're with and maintain social distancing of at least six feet. While we've all come to accept the idea that distancing ourselves from others by six feet to avoid flying droplets that spread the virus from one person to another, recent studies have shown that droplets may fly even further. This is why it's particularly important to wear a mask.
Make sure to bring and use hand sanitizer that's at least 60 percent alcohol, wear a mask, cover your mouth and nose with your elbow if you sneeze, and when you get home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
When you're out in the neighborhood trick-or-treating and a bowl is presented, allow your child to touch only one candy. But it's safer if the homeowner hands out candy piece-by-piece since only one person — and not dozens of people — will be handling the item.
Stay clear of ghosts, goblins and viruses by following these basic Halloween safety tips and you'll have a fun and exciting Halloween. Now, who's masked up and ready to get something good to eat?