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Halloween is just around the corner and is going to be here before you know it. The common trend for this year is that there is nothing ordinary about 2020. Every stage of the year has presented itself with an adjustment on everyone’s part from the traditional way we do things because of this pandemic. And Halloween and the holiday season to come is no different. As of right now, the CDC considers traditional trick-or-treating as a high risk activity that could contribute to further spread of the virus. Whether young or old, the CDC has provided a list of recommended lower risk activities that would be better alternatives to the traditional way of celebrating Halloween. Having said that, here are some safety tips that are especially important for parents to ensure their children are safe during Halloween.
Covid-19 has proven to be a devastating disease for many people. While the majority of people who have contracted the virus have not had life-threatening symptoms, it is a powerful disease that has proven to cripple many of all ages. Not only would you want your children to contract the virus, but you wouldn’t want them to carry the disease and potentially spread it to higher risk people. This is why it is discouraged to have traditional trick-or-treating from door-to-door. Some communities are doing “one-way” trick-or-treating where goodie bags are premade for children on their front yard to prevent close proximity to neighbors. Even so, there is still a risk, because you don’t know to what extent your neighbors have sanitized these goodie bags. Each family has to personally decide for the safety of their family. Some have chosen to have a scavenger-style hunt in their backyard giving kids clues leading to candy. This could be a safer alternative to prevent interacting with those outside of the household.
For those who have older kids and teenagers, it is also strongly encouraged that they avoid social gatherings with their friends. Social-distanced, small gatherings that are outside present the lowest risk for a costume party. Even then, it can be hard for costumes to work alongside suitable masks. Some have planned a zoom costume party instead.
If your children are going trick-or-treating in any way, it’s important to discuss the dangers. Trick or treat expeditions are for the most part nothing more than harmless fun. However, the festivities have been shown to precipitate a variety of dangers, especially when the kids get to go out alone.
The association between Halloween and kidnapping might not be prevalent but it is definitely worth nothing. With kids out unsupervised and at odd hours, there is always the risk of abduction incidents . Typically, crowded and active communities make this less of a risk. However because of covid, you can’t rely on crowds to ensure that your kid is safe as everyone will likely be social distancing (as they should). So as a parent you can never really be too careful so this is a risk you cannot afford to ignore, be precautious and talk to your kids about avoiding long conversations with strangers or giving too much information to people they don’t know.
When you’re planning for your child’s Halloween costume, make sure that the costume doesn’t make it difficult for you or anyone else to see them in the dark. Bright colors on the costume are a good idea, or even reflective wear. Cars are still on the road during Halloween, and others are out and about, energized and running around. It’s crucial that you and others can see your child in the dark.
Children just can’t help but get lost whether it is at a new school or an old mall. During Halloween, this risk is increased by the fact that they are out in unfamiliar surroundings often at night. This is a nightmare not only for you as the parent but also for the kid.
Before we get into this one, here is a statistic that will shock you. The risk of your child getting hit by a car doubles on Halloween . Letting your children go out unsupervised means they have to do things like crossing the road all by themselves. This is dangerous whether it is at night or during the day. It is important to talk to your child about distractions and the importance of pedestrian safety .
Walking around in the dark also increases chances of smaller accidents. These include things like tripping , falling into ditches, attacks by guard dogs and getting trampled by massive crowds. Fortunately, these cases are few and far between especially if you take precautions as will be discussed before.
Halloween is all about fun. But safety is priority #1. These tips can come in handy for everyone on Halloween night. We understand why many parents fret Halloween, knowing that the world can be a dangerous place, especially in the midst of a pandemic. You shouldn’t want your child fretting this night too; this holiday should be pure fun for them. So keep them safe, plan ahead and if at all possible, stay home this year.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.