Halloween is a fun time of year enjoyed by children and adults alike, but as we all know, it can also be dangerous. With this year’s global pandemic, there’s an added element of risks to consider.
“Every year there are important precautions that parents, trick-or-treaters, and homeowners should take to make Halloween a fun and safe event for everyone. This year is different, and so, Ambulance Paramedics of BC is asking the public to take some extra precautions to ensure we minimize risks of transferring COVID-19,” said Megan Lawrence, provincial education director and primary care paramedic with the Ambulance Paramedics of BC.
Whether you are handing out candy, or have children who will be trick-or-treating, Ambulance Paramedics of BC offers these tips to help ensure everyone’s safety.
· Trick or treat in small groups, and leave space between your group and others
· Make space when handing out treats
· Skip the Halloween mask and opt for a personal protective mask. Do NOT wear both because it will be difficult to breathe.
· If you are planning to hand out candy, instead of a shared bowl for kids to grab candy, hand out individual treats using tongs.
· Ensure trick-or-treaters are visible at night! Pick a light-coloured costume if possible. Add reflective material to costumes (available at fabric or craft stores). Glow sticks are an inexpensive way to increase visibility and can be found at most dollar stores. Always bring a flashlight trick or treating (most smartphones are equipped with a flashlight function or app).
· Ensure costumes fit properly. Avoid oversized shoes, capes that are too long, or bulky additions to costumes.
· Consider putting your child’s name and a contact phone number on the costume in case you get separated.
· When planning your trick-or-treat route stick to areas you are familiar with. Ensure your route is well lit and preferably has sidewalks and crosswalks.
· When out trick-or-treating, stick to one side of the street, and then cross once at a crosswalk if possible.
· Some candy presents a choking hazard to small children, so parents should be vigilant.
· Do not eat any of your treats until inspected by an adult.
· Keep your home well lit, including driveways, pathways and porches. Ensure that all pathways are clear of debris, including fall hazards like wet leaves.
· If you are NOT planning to hand out candy, turn off your porch light so children don’t approach.
· Be extra vigilant and slow down. Trick-or-treaters may be too excited to obey the rules of the road, so be prepared for unpredictable behaviour.