Halloween: Playing it Safe this Year

October ushers in Halloween, a boo-tiful American holiday rich in fall traditions for the whole family to enjoy. Beyond the fanciful witches, ghosts, and goblins, Halloween will look different this year.  There are many reasons to stop and think about how to have fun and stay safe this Halloween.

Halloween Costumes

While costumes surprise and delight us with their creativity, they need to be safe, especially with young children out in the neighborhood at night. Light-colored costumes are a safer choice than dark ones for trick-or-treaters and can be made even safer by adding reflectors and reflective tape. Carrying a flashlight adds an extra dimension of visibility. Kids need to see and be seen, so be sure their masks don’t cover their eyes. Using non-toxic face paint or makeup rather than a mask can help avoid obstructing your child’s vision.

This year’s Halloween will be different from years past, with the CDC warning that costume masks should not be considered a substitute for coronavirus masks unless they have been specially designed with two or more layers of breathable fabric covering the nose and mouth and no gaps around the face.

Costumes also should fit properly and not drag on the ground, thus preventing trips and falls. All costumes, wigs, and accessories should be fire retardant.


Trick-or-treating is the highlight of the night for most kids, but the CDC ranks it as higher risk activity during the pandemic. It’s best to assess your local area’s situation regarding the virus when deciding whether to venture out or stay home.

If you decide to trick-or-treat, keep in mind that an adult should accompany children 12 and under. Youngsters who are mature enough to go out with friends without adult supervision should be reminded to stay in small groups, in familiar areas that are well lit. Remind them to be alert for cars, stick to sidewalks, and always look both ways before crossing the street. If your neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks, encourage kids to walk as close to the edge of the road as possible, facing traffic. Flashlights and glowsticks help assure they are seen.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, it is also recommended to accept only wrapped candy for children not to eat any of it until you have inspected it, sanitize their hands after touching anything, and avoid contact with strangers. To be extra safe, take another step by sanitizing all the candy wrappers before opening them up and eating the candy inside.

Halloween Home Safety

Black and White Cookie Image from TooJay's Deli

If you want to join the trick-or-treating fun this year and welcome the neighborhood kids in costume at your door, there are ways to do it safely. Keep the outside of your house well-lit and clear out your walkway, steps, and porch to avoid anyone tripping. Since direct contact is not recommended, put together goodie bags and leave them on the porch or driveway for trick-or-treaters to grab while staying socially distant. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before assembling the treats.  Goodie bags can be as easy as picking up some cookies from TooJay’s Deli’s delicious bakery.

COVID-19 Friendly Activities 

After dinner, carve pumpkins with family or friends in a small group, create a Halloween scavenger hunt around the house or enjoy a Halloween-themed game night. If you want to be extra safe and still see your friends in costume, a virtual costume contest may be the way to go.  

No matter how you decide to celebrate this year, have a safe and spooktacular Halloween!