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Halloween safety tips from AMR: Preventing injury and illness is top priority

Image courtesy of the CDC

Keep your trick-or-treaters safe from injury and contagious illness this Halloween by following the advice of paramedics at AMR. Some risks of trick-or-treating have been with us many years, and some are new.  

As researchers have shown, more youngsters are struck by cars on Halloween than on any other day of the year.  Injuries from falls are also common. 

We all must work together to thwart the continuing threat of COVID-19. Also, remember, flu season is creeping up on us. 

Paramedics at AMR give these Halloween safety tips to make sure this year’s trick-or-treating is scary and fun, not scary and dangerous.

  • Due to COVID-19, avoid Halloween parties unless everyone there is from the same immediate household. If folks from different households party together, outdoors is safer and social distancing is a must. 
  • Whether trick or treating door to door or attending a party, children and adults alike should wear pandemic masks. If a costume comes with a mask, put a medical mask over it. The costume mask by itself is not protective enough. Paint the kids’ faces instead of letting them wear a costume mask that is hard to see and breathe through. Be sure everyone wears a pandemic mask over the face paint. 
  • Go out in small groups. Everyone in the group should live together or interact frequently. Decide on a definite route and timetable before leaving your house. Finish your trip before dark. Take plenty of hand sanitizer and some extra masks. Use the sanitizer between homes you visit. 
  • Costumes should be flame retardant, brightly-colored and reflect light. Stripe reflective tape across the front and back of the costume including the shoes. Avoid hats, helmets, wigs and beards.
  • Costumes should fit well, not so loosely as to trip over or snag on things.  Wear flat shoes with closed toes that are the right size for the child.  Avoid over-sized shoes such a clown would wear. 
  • Keep at least one of each child’s hands free.  Instead of letting a child carry a candy bag by hand, add a strap to the bag and drape the bag over the child’s shoulder.  Do not wear monster gloves.  Be sure the bag doesn’t drag on the ground.
  • Stay on sidewalks, walk facing traffic, cross streets only at intersections, don’t run across lawns and  don’t jump ditches. 
  • Approach only those houses with outside lights on.  
  • Trick-or-treaters should not enter any candy-giver’s home. Even if you are friends, COVID-19 could be lurking inside.  
  • Treat givers at higher risk of catching COVID-19 can put the candy in a bowl on their porch and interact with the kids through a window.  Treat givers who are not at high risk might choose to sit on their porch with a container of candy. They should wear a pandemic mask, stay six feet from the trick-or-treaters and use tongs to put the candy in the goblins’ bags. They should wash their hands frequently. 
  • Do not allow the kids to eat any treats until the group returns home and an adult examines each bag.  Eat nothing that is even slightly suspicious.  Look for items that appear to have been unwrapped and then re-wrapped. Before the kids dip their hands into their candy bags, direct them to wash their hands thoroughly. 
  • Dress warmly, stay alert and keep handy a small first aid kit for scraped knees and other little injuries.  If a serious injury happens, dial 911 immediately.

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