DENVER (KDVR) — Outdoor trick-or-treating should be a relatively low-risk activity for kids this Halloween, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health experts.
But COVID is not the only risk for the holiday. Pedestrians are at higher risk for fatalities.
How to stay safe from COVID during Halloween trick-or-treating
Dr. Heather Young is the medical director of infection prevention at Denver Health. She says COVID-19 rates are in a better place compared to the same time in 2020, but parents should still take some precautions around the holiday:
- Make sure kids keep some space from their friends. If they’re unable to, consider wearing a mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer to use between houses.
- Don’t go trick-or-treating if you or your child are sick.
- Those who are immune compromised should avoid visiting and interacting with others.
- Keep Halloween parties outside if possible. If indoors, make sure the space is well-ventilated and consider wearing a mask.
- “The risk to the people handing out candy at the door should also be relatively low. We know that trick-or-treaters come in and you spend a few seconds with them and then they leave again. COVID transmission really does require a bit more time,” said Young.
Halloween deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians
COVID-19 is not the only thing trick-or-treaters need to consider. The holiday is the single deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians, according to AAA.
AAA cites data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which found children on Halloween are three times more likely to die from being hit by a vehicle.
“It’s a very deadly day for adult pedestrians, as well because this is the time that every American — whether you live in an urban community, a suburban community or even rural — get out and walk along the roadways,” said Skyler McKinley, Regional Director of Public Affairs for AAA.
AAA found that Halloween is the third-deadliest day of the year for all pedestrians, as nearly half of fatal crashes on Halloween night involve a drunk driver, and a third of Halloween crash fatalities involve a pedestrian.
McKinley says there are easy ways parents and drivers can help guarantee a safe Halloween:
- Wear reflective clothing if your costume is dark-colored.
- Carry flashlights or glow sticks.
- Trick-or-treaters stay on sidewalk when possible or walk near the edge of the road, against traffic.
- Drivers should slow down on Halloween and watch for kids.
- Turn on headlights early to make sure your vehicle is visible.