How to stay safe during Halloween celebrations

New York News
Child’s basket with sweets and protective face mask on Halloween in autumn

(File/Getty)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Division of Consumer Protection and Department of Health are urging parents and children to take precautions while celebrating Halloween. Although celebrations may look different this year, the state wants to make sure residents are safe from COVID-19 variants.

“We encourage families and all New Yorkers to do everything they can to make trick-or-treating this Halloween safe as well as fun, said State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “Please be considerate of each other and follow the practices that help stop the spread of COVID-19, especially for our youngest New Yorkers who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.”

Children and adults can stay safe by following these guidelines:

Health

  • Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before, during and after any Halloween activities. Also consider leaving some out for your trick-or-treaters to use.
  • If you’re hosting a Halloween event, keep the gathering small and outdoors.
  • When giving out candy this Halloween, consider making individual goodie bags and placing them on a table in your driveway or in front of your house.
  • Trick or treat in small groups and avoid crowds. Do not pick candy out of a bowl or receive candy directly from someone’s hands. If there is crowding in front of a home, skip that house and find a safer option.
  • Try to incorporate a cloth face mask into your costume. For children under 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, masks are still the best line of defense against COVID.

Pedestrians

  • Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult while trick-or-treating. Older, responsible children should review their route with an adult and agree on a time to return home.
  • Use reflective tape as a trim for costumes, outerwear and even treat bags to make them visible to motorists at dusk and in the dark.
  • Cross the street on corners, use crosswalks and adhere to traffic signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths and if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far left as possible.
  • Put electronics down, keep your head up and walk while crossing the street.

Drivers

  • Slow down and take extra care when driving on Halloween, especially in neighborhoods and areas where there may be trick-or-treaters.
  • Be careful when passing stopped vehicles. They may be stopping to let trick-or-treaters cross the road or unloading passengers.
  • Always look out for pedestrians, especially before turning at a green light or making a right turn on red.

Costumes

  • Look for fabrics labeled “flame resistant” such as nylon or polyester when purchasing costumes, beards, wigs, and masks.
  • Purchase or make costumes that are light colored, bright and clearly visible to motorists.
  • If using a full face mask as part of your costume, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, has eye holes large enough to allow full vision and does not limit hearing.

Treats and Decorations

  • Examine any toys or small items for young children under 3-years-old that may be a choking hazard
  • Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.
  • Use battery operated tea-lights, LED lights or glow sticks instead of an open flame candle for your Jack-o-Lanterns. Keep your decorated Jack-o-Lanterns away from curtains, decorations or other flammable objects. Do not leave an open flame candle unattended.
  • Keep any candles or Jack-o-Lanterns away from landings or doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flames. Place them on a sturdy table.

If you have questions or need any more information, you can contact the Division’s consumer helpline at 800-697-1220.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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