Make Halloween Fun and Safe with These Tips for Celebrating During COVID-19

Even as parents and caregivers continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween is still one of the most exciting nights of the year. This year’s festivities will look a little different and call for creative alternatives that are both fun and follow local COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. But regardless of how you choose to celebrate this Halloween, here are a few ways to make safety a part of your planning.

Planning your costume

  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls, whether around the house or on the street.
  • For greater visibility, decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colored clothing.
  • Choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible to ensure kids can see because a full-face Halloween masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Facemasks to protect from COVID should not be decorated with paint or magic markers as they can be toxic.

When Halloween activities take you outside the home

Tips for kids:

  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • 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, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars and be especially careful around driveways and alleys.
  • Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit, stay on sidewalks if available,  and trick-or-treat in small groups.

Tips for drivers:

  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

When you’re planning Halloween activities at home

  • Use glow sticks to light up jack-o-lanterns instead of candles. This will help prevent burns from open flames.
  • Keep decorations away from open flames, light bulbs and heaters. Paper decorations and things like cornstalks can catch fire easily. Double check to make sure smoke alarms are working correctly and review your fire escape plan with your family in case there is a fire.
  • Store household cleaning products out of children’s reach and sight. We all have additional cleaning products and disinfectants in the home right now and young kids are often eye-level with items on counters and under kitchen and bathroom sinks. So, remember to keep cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers where children can’t reach them and save the Poison Help number in your phone in case there is an emergency: 1-800-222-1222.

For more tips and resources to keep kids safe from injuries during the pandemic – including this Parents Guide – visit our Coronavirus Resources page.

For additional Halloween ideas, guidelines and recommendations, visit the Centers For Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.