More than than 44 million children go out trick-or-treating over the Halloween dates stretching from October 21 through October 31. But this year will be a very different “Beggars’ Night*” due to pandemic concerns. Here are best safety practices to minimize the chance of spreading coronavirus.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health issued “Recommended Best Practices for Halloween” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those suggestions are:
- Limiting Halloween parties to 10 or fewer people and holding those parties outside.
- Stay six feet away from people not in your household whether trick-or-treating or passing out treats.
- Keep moving: Don’t bunch up in groups on sidewalks or porches.
- Carry hand sanitizer and use it often.
- Limit the number of houses you visit and carry the treat bag for small children.
You can find the whole list here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/ (look for the Halloween graphics).
Richland Public Health is sharing two good ideas for socially distancing while still providing treats for visiting ghouls and goblins:
- Consider setting up a table between you and the visitors. Sit on one end (you can wear a costume if you like) and slide treats down the table.
- Decorate a long PVC pipe and slide the treats down the pipe. Here’s some examples: https://news.ucdenver.edu/how-to-halloween-with-covid-19-make-a-diy-candy-chute/
Here’s some general information to keep the evening fun and safe:
- Everyone should wear a facial covering: Get creative with designs on your face mask.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Make sure you or your child’s costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
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, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
- Cross the street at corners (intersections), using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices (cell phones) down and keep heads up. 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.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Drive Carefully on Halloween
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential areas. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections and at curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive slowly and turn your headlights on earlier in the day.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Be especially alert for kids during those hours.
- If you are at a “Trunk-or-Treat” event, be careful driving through the parking lot and go slow.
*A night on which children dress up in costumes and go door to door asking for candy or other treats, associated with Halloween or one or more days in the preceding week (Dictionary of American Regional English: scattered usage in the Middle West but especially Ohio and Iowa).