How to Celebrate Halloween Safely During COVID-19

by Staff | October 26th, 2020

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is almost here—and even harder to believe that COVID-19 is still a very real threat to families across Indiana. The state has slowly allowed many businesses and functions to reopen via its tiered phase system since the virus first began spreading in March, but social distancing and wearing a mask are still strongly recommended to reduce its spread.

The threat of the virus can put a damper on many people’s Halloween plans, which often involve parties, cookouts, bonfires, and of course, trick-or-treating. Halloween is a highly social holiday for both adults and kids, but even small to medium-sized gatherings can put attendees at risk of infection. That doesn’t mean your family can’t enjoy this holiday, but staying safe will require being cautious and following a few simple steps.

Follow These Tips to Stay Safe This Halloween

The last thing anyone wants this Halloween is to either catch COVID-19 or feel responsible for causing others to catch it. It’s impossible to eliminate the threat of infection, but you can do your best to reduce the risks.

If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters at your home: Passing out candy to kids is a time-honored tradition for adults and teens on Halloween. Thankfully, this activity won’t be threatened too significantly by COVID-19 as long as a few precautions are followed.

First, ensure that trick-or-treaters maintain their distance when approaching your home or waiting to get candy. Posting a few signs in your lawn encouraging social distancing can help. Second, consider leaving out individually wrapped goodie bags for trick-or-treaters, or if you pass out candy individually, sanitize your hands frequently and wear a mask.

If you’re taking your child trick-or-treating: Trick-or-treating will be safest this year when done in small groups. Limit the number of children in your group. In addition, make sure your child’s costume includes a face mask. Halloween is ideal for wearing a mask, as many costumes involve masks already. But because plastic and rubber masks don’t always provide protection, you should consider having your child wear a cloth mask underneath. You can also draw or paint a cloth mask to make it match your child’s costume.

As always, supervise your children and their friends while they go trick-or-treating. Make sure their masks don’t limit their vision and that their costumes don’t impede their ability to walk. Keep your children close by when you cross the street or walk near traffic, and don’t travel into neighborhoods or down streets that aren’t participating in trick-or-treating.

When you get home, ensure that you and your children wash your hands before digging into candy. COVID-19 can be spread on surfaces, including many surfaces you and your children will touch while trick-or-treating.

If you’re throwing a Halloween party: It’s important to limit the number of guests to any party or gathering. If you’re used to throwing large parties, you’ll have to significantly cut back this year to reduce the risk of infection. Consider inviting only a small group of close family members and friends.

Encourage social distancing and mask-wearing as much as possible. This can be more easily accomplished by having the party take place outdoors and by setting up food and drink stations spaced apart.

If you’re attending a Halloween party: Ask the host of the party how many people are invited and whether any COVID-19 safety measures are being implemented. If the party will have many people in attendance and will be in close quarters in a home or private venue, don’t go. Many COVID-19 cases have been linked to these types of gatherings, as it can be difficult to maintain a safe distance from others when many people are present and talking throughout the night.

If you’re going on a hayride or to a haunted house: Private businesses that are associated with Halloween, like corn mazes, hayrides, and haunted houses, will have their own precautions for COVID-19, but not all will take it seriously or enforce those precautions. Check the websites and social media accounts of any attractions you’re interested in attending for specifics on the precautions they’re taking. As with any other activity, wear a mask and avoid attractions that allow large numbers of visitors or that don’t enforce social distancing and crowd control.

Alternatives to Typical Halloween Activities

Don’t feel comfortable taking part in normal Halloween activities this year? You’re not alone! Many Americans will opt to stay home or at least avoid activities that could include large crowds as much as possible this year. If that’s your plan, here are a few ideas to keep the holiday fun for your family:

  • Have a Halloween movie night—There’s no shortage of family-friendly and spooky Halloween-centric movies to watch. This year could be the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids or friends to classics they missed out on, and vice versa.
  • Carve Jack-o’-Lanterns—Normally carving pumpkins happens in the weeks or days leading up to Halloween, but it can be saved for the big night itself this year.
  • Take a day trip to view the leaves changing colors—Halloween happens to coincide with the waning days of peak fall foliage in Indiana. Instead of bright yellows and oranges, you’ll see crimson and burnt orange leaves. However, a few extra hours on the highway or interstate can dramatically change the colors you see.

If Halloween Fun Turns Tragic, We’re Here to Help.

Halloween is supposed to be a light-hearted holiday that’s enjoyed equally by kids and adults. This year’s Halloween festivities will be different than any in recent memory, but taking a few precautions and changing up normal plans can reduce your risk of infection.

However, many risks may not change, including the risk of slips and falls at Halloween venues, vehicles colliding with trick-or-treaters, and more. If you or someone you love gets hurt this Halloween because of someone else’s negligence, the Indiana personal injury lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin want to help you get the money you deserve. Contact us today.

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