In Public Health, Safe Routes, Safety

It is hard to believe Halloween is one week away. As usual, we want to share a few safety tips for trick-or-treaters, drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. This year however, we’re adding a few more tips, starting with the CDC guidance on how to make trick-or-treating safer.  

Health tips:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors or set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats and wear mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others who do not live with you.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and use after touching objects.
  • Wash hands with water and soap before eating any treats.

If you choose to stay home this year, here are some ideas to celebrate Halloween:

  • Hide Halloween treats in and around the house and hold a treat hunt with household members.
  • Hold an outdoor costume parade so everyone can show off their costumes. Just make sure everyone wears a mask – costume masks are not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Host an outdoor Halloween movie night with friends or neighbors and seat everyone at least 6 feet apart.
  • Host an indoor movie night with family members.

Whatever Halloween will look like in your community this year, we still need to make sure we keep each other safe. Here are a few traffic safety tips:

Drivers:

  • Slow down and make sure you pay extra attention in residential neighborhoods.
  • Watch for children at intersections, crossways, and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • Remember popular times for trick or treating are between 5:30pm and 9:30pm.
  • Turn headlights on early.
  • Watch for children dressed in dark colored costumes.
  • Eliminate all distractions!
  • Do not drive while under the influence.

Bicyclists and Pedestrians:

  • Make sure you have bright/light clothing, reflective gear, a glow stick, or a reflective band. Put reflective tape on the trick-or-treat bag too.
  • Cyclists must have lights on the front and rear of their bike. It’s safer and the law!
  • Pedestrians can also carry a flashlight and should always use the sidewalk when available.
  • Young children should always trick-or-treat with an adult, older children should trick-or-treat in physically distanced groups.
  • Choose the safest routes to walk, try to avoid busy traffic areas, and always walk on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, keep to the left and walk facing traffic. Try to limit the number of street crossings.
  • Make sure costumes don’t make it hard for children to walk
  • Watch for cars turning or pulling out of driveways and don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Eliminate distractions, keep your head up, and be alert.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Resources

Learn more about safety tips at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/halloween.html

See the NJ health guidance at https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/slowing-the-spread/how-can-i-safely-trick-or-treat-and-celebrate-halloween

And for local guidance check your townships website.

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