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Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is supposed to be a little scary, but it should also be safe! With COVID-19 still spreading, the Carroll County Health Department reminds residents that it is important to be careful when celebrating Halloween, especially if someone in your household is at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19.

 “We are still seeing a significant spread of COVID-19 in Carroll County, so the safest way to celebrate Halloween is at home, or virtually,” said Ed Singer, Health Officer for Carroll County. “But people who choose more traditional Halloween activities should follow guidance to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19, like wearing face coverings, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and staying outdoors.”

If you choose to trick-or-treat and trunk-or-treat with your kids:

  • Trick-or-treat with people you live with.
  • Stay 6 feet or more from people not in your household. It’s ok to get closer for a short time, like for a photo or candy hand-off, but make sure it’s less than 15 minutes.
  • Wear a face covering over your mouth and nose. Costume masks will not block infectious droplets.
  • Use sanitizer often while you are out.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • There’s no need to disinfect candy. Unwrap it and drop it into a clean bowl, have your kids wash their hands and then eat it. Remember to socially distance when eating around others not in your household.

If you want to hand out treats:

  • Wear a face covering properly, over your mouth and nose, and maintain a 6-foot distance from others not in your household as much as possible.
  • Consider a fun, no-contact way to give out candy, like a giant candy chute or candy “take out” – prepacked treat bags spaced out on a table at the end of your drive or yard.

Or you can organize an alternative Halloween event:

  • Hold a small, socially-distanced neighborhood parade.
  • Set up a drive-up trick-or-treat where families drive up to houses and get treats while staying in their cars.
  • Create a drive-through event with lights and decorations and a single bag of treats. Carroll County Recreation and Parks is planning a drive-through event on October 31st from 3-6 pm in the lot at Robert Moton Center, for kids 2-12 years of age: https://www.carrollcountymd.gov/government/directory/recreation-parks/recreation-parks-events/drive-thru-trunk-or-treat/ )
  • Plan a small, outdoor party or haunted yard for just a few friends and follow all guidelines.
  • Decorate your house and let your kids trick-or-treat or hunt for candy in each room.
  • Go virtual – have a Zoom party with scary stories, games, and a costume contest. BYOC (bring your own candy)!

Whatever you choose for your family, make sure you follow other Halloween safety guidelines to keep kids safe:

  • Have an adult go with kids to make sure they are following all safety guidelines.
  • Bring a flashlight or large glowstick and put reflective tape on costumes and bags so kids can be seen.
  • Stay on the sidewalk, and be extra careful to check for cars when crossing the street at corners/crosswalks.
  • Wear only flame-resistant, well-fitting costumes and take care around candles and bonfires.
  • Test makeup to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation, and wash it off before bedtime.
  • Make sure costume extras like swords and knives are soft and flexible.
  • Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth, but not the eyes – make sure kids can see.
  • Look through treats before giving them to kids, and make sure they have some healthy food choices as well, so they don’t eat too much candy at once.

For kids of all ages planning Halloween events like hayrides or haunted trails, keep these tips in mind:

  • Outdoor events are lower risk than indoor events.
  • Smaller groups are lower risk than larger groups.
  • Wear face coverings properly over your mouth and nose.
  • Make sure you are 6 feet or more from people who are not in your household.
  • For drive-through events, it’s safest to go with people from your own household.

Talk with your family, friends, and neighbors and make a plan for Halloween that is fun and safe for all!

For more tips and ideas, visit:

https://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

https://www.halloween2020.org/