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Health Unit asks families to stay safe on Halloween

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit recognizes that, unlike last year, Oct.31 may be more of a “hybrid Halloween” in 2021.

With that in mind, there are several precautions parents and caregivers should practice before heading out with their little ones.

“With an increase in the vaccinated population, I think it is important children have the opportunity to get out, get physical, and take part in fun activities such as trick-or-treating,” said Dr. Matt Strauss, Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “Of course, unvaccinated adults remain at risk of COVID-19 infection, and provincial guidance on physical distancing and masking continues to apply.”

In addition, Dr. Strauss adjures the public – both walkers and drivers –  to use extreme caution this Sunday, as children are up to ten times more likely to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween night.

With warm weather in the forecast, more people may be out trick-or-treating, but there are still some factors to consider to lower the risk of contracting COVID-19, including:

  • Stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild.
  • Trick-or-treat outdoors as much as possible.
  • Do not crowd doorsteps – take turns one at a time.
  • Use hand sanitizer often, especially after touching frequently touched surfaces, when you arrive home from trick-or-treating, and before and after handling or eating treats.

An increase in families out trick-or-treating means safety precautions should extend beyond just social distancing and hand sanitizer. Other safety tips for Halloween include:

Preventing fires

  • Keep candles, matches, and lighters away from children.
  • Keep lit pumpkins away from drapes, decorations, or other flammable objects.
  • Consider lighting your pumpkin with a flameless candle or glow stick.

Avoid slips, trips, and falls

  • Check the costume’s size to ensure a snug fit, with the costume no longer than ankle length.
  • Turn on your porch light and clear walkways of clutter.

Be visible

  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Attach a strip of reflective tape or apply reflective spray to your child’s costume.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing instead of primarily dark colours.

For more tips to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween, click here.