Halloween 2021 and COVID-19
Halloween festivities may not be as scary as last year for families fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, as COVID-19 continues to spread, it is important to keep Halloween traditions safe by wearing appropriate face coverings or masks and remaining physically distant from others.
Here are some safety tips and ideas offered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to celebrate Halloween:
- Protect those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children by getting yourself and others around you vaccinated.
- Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth. Be aware that not all masks that come with costumes provide effective protection against COVID-19; therefore, an appropriate face covering or mask should still be worn.
- Attend safe outdoor activities in South Florida and avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
- Host outdoor movie nights with appropriate distancing and dress as your favorite characters.
- Make your favorite family Halloween treats.
- Carve and decorate pumpkins (always be sure to supervise children carefully during carving activities).
- Participate in an outdoor Halloween scavenger hunt.
If you still plan on trick-or-treating, here are some tips:
- Avoid going door to door and instead encourage neighbors to participate in trick-or-treating by lining up individually prepackaged treat bags at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard in order for kids to "grab-and-go."
- Maintain physical distancing; children and families should be careful to avoid large groups or clustering at doorsteps.
- Sit outside and wear appropriate face masks or coverings when handing out treats.
- Wipe treat packaging clean or set them aside for a couple of days before giving them to children.
- Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer before and after trick-or-treating.
Remember to Walk Safely
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Trick or Treat With an Adult
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
For more Halloween safety tips and ideas, visit SafeKids.org
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and curbs.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.