PHOENIX (Oct. 25, 2021) – After COVID-19 slowed down Halloween last year, the ninjas, princesses and ghouls are expected to be back trick-or-treating in full force this Sunday.
In addition to COVID-19 health precautions, children and adults should also follow other practices this Halloween to stay safe, say Banner Health experts.
‘We want people to stay safe from COVID and we also want them to be careful of the other dangers that we routinely see on Halloween nights such as car accidents,’’ said Tracey Fejt, injury prevention coordinator at Banner Children’s. (Fejt is pronounced ‘fate’)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that trick-or-treaters can return going door to door this Halloween but should they trick-or-treat outside and avoid crowds such as Halloween parties where a large number of people could gather.
Children should also use hand sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and water after they get home and before they eat any treats. Also, they should try to keep six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with them.
Adults giving out treats should follow these suggestions, says the CDC:
• Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters
• Give out treats outdoors, if possible
• Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take
• Wash hands before handling treats
• Wear a mask
In addition to COVID-19 precautions, kids and parents should also be aware of other Halloween dangers, Fejt says.
“At Halloween, our emergency departments see everything from burns, to cuts, to kids falling. But the big thing is that we have an increase in pedestrian injures, so many kids are hit by cars on Halloween night,’’ Fejt said.
Halloween is a dangerous time for kids to be walking outside because it gets darker earlier this time of year, their costumes can be dark and hard to see. Also, drivers are distracted by other kids, their costumes and there is more traffic than normal.
“After last year, people may not be expecting a lot of street traffic at Halloween. It’s best to be prepared,’’ she said.
Fejt offers these tips to keep Halloween to help with pedestrian safety:
• Costumes: Make sure kids’ costumes can be seen, either through choosing light-colored clothing or using reflective tape or glow sticks. Also make sure that a child can be seen from the back as well.
• Safe walking: Parents should encourage kids not to cut across streets but to use crosswalks instead or at least cross at the street corners.
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 30 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com.