It’s boo-yeah and not a boo-hoo time for kids of all ages when it comes to Halloween merry-making this year. And while experts may feel more confident about trick-or-treating during the coronavirus pandemic, grownups need to take special care to ensure the safety of costumed, candy-seeking kids.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has told multiple news outlets that he thinks the Oct. 31 holiday, a favorite among adults as well as youngsters, will be safer in coronavirus terms than last year, NPR reported, quoting him from an appearance on CNN:
“’I think that, particularly if you’re vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it. This is a time that children love. It’s a very important part of the year for children.”
As NPR noted:
“After more than 18 months under the dark cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, the Halloween celebrations should be able to go ahead safely, [Fauci] said. That’s a refreshing change from last year’s celebrations that were largely canceled due to high cases of Covid-19 and no vaccine yet available. As many adults, and now younger Americans over the age of 12 are getting vaccinated, Fauci said trick-or-treating outdoors, where the risk for infection is lower, should be safe for young children.”
Health and safety organizations have recommendations to make the spooky day safer:
- Outdoor events are better than those conducted indoors
- Grownups may wish to station themselves outdoors and be prepared to hand out individually packaged candy with minimal contact with recipients
- Adults should accompany youngsters if they trek through neighborhoods for treats
- Motorists must be on high guard for trick-or-treaters traveling at times of day when they may be hardest to see. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these incidents.
- Parents should triple-check costumes to ensure their kids have unobstructed vision and breathing and that they can move freely and without tripping or falling hazards or issues with flammability. Grownups may want to see that costumes have reflective elements for night traveling.
- If Halloween celebrants don makeup, it should be spot tested to ensure users don’t have allergic reactions to it. Experts emphasize that makeup should not be worn overnight and should be removed before users go to sleep.
- Those who are considering colored contact lenses should discuss these devices with their optician or ophthalmologist. They should not buy bargain, street lenses and they should limit their wearing time.
- Take care with candles or other flammable elements in pumpkins or other seasonal decorations. Can battery-powered LED or other light sources be used as substitutes?
These ideas also should be common sense and simple: If any treats look sketchy, toss them. Kids may want to keep and devour every sweet scrap they collect. But parents can dole out appropriate amounts of candy over time, as well as feeling free at a point to discard excessive collections. Don’t let youngsters — or their older siblings — venture into dicey areas or prank neighbors already known to be difficult or unhappy individuals.
Grownups, please, as described above, Halloween’s risks already are notable for motorists and pedestrians, so take extra care with intoxicants (alcohol, marijuana, and prescription medications). Don’t use them and drive. Rethink any plans to hang from the chandeliers until deep into the night, as drowsy driving also can be dangerous.
An ounce of prevention and protection against known holiday hazards can help to ensure that you and yours enjoy a fun, joyful, safe, and spook-tacular Halloween …