Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Written by Emma Parnham

Halloween is upon us. Dressing up in costume and going trick-or-treating door-to-door is a tradition cherished by children and adults alike. While this offers a fun family and neighborhood experience, it can also pose some dangers that parents should heed to keep children safe, especially amid the COIVD-19 pandemic.

Trick-or-treating is being permitted in the City of Lancaster, however, families are being encouraged to consider lower-risk activities as an alternative. Using these trick-or-treat safety tips can ensure everyone has a safe and fun experience:

COVID-19 Safety Tips

  • Wear a cloth face covering while outside your home and around those who you do not live with.
    • A costume mask is not an adequate substitute for a cloth mask unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask. This can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Maintain 6 feet or more of distance from people you do not live with, especially while talking, eating, drinking or singing.
  • Avoid places where you cannot maintain 6 feet or more of distance from people you do not live with.
  • Wash your hands or use sanitizer often.
  • Clean frequently touched items regularly.
  • If you are sick or if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 stay home.

Those who choose to take part in traditional trick-or-treating should understand how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before participating. CDC guidance and ideas for lower-risk activities can be found here:

Additional Safety Tips

Outside of the health and safety precautions for COVID-19, parents should be aware that there were nearly 8,000 traffic and non-traffic pedestrian deaths in 2018 (non-traffic deaths include those occurring in driveways, parking lots, or other private property).  It has been reported by The National Center for Health Statistics and Kids Safe Worldwide, that as many as twice as many children will be struck and killed on Halloween as on any other day of the year. 

What can you do to make sure your and other children remain safe? 

  • Ensure children are visible
  • Adults should be on the look-out for children when driving down the street, making turns, or backing out of their driveway. 
  • Trick-or-Treat while it is still light out
  • Have an adult accompany children while they are out
  • If older and a child is going alone, plan and agree on a safe route for the child to travel, preferable only in familiar well-lit areas
  • Wear bright-colored costumes, or use reflective tape, carry a glow stick, or a flashlight
  • Avoid costumes that might limit visibility or obstruct vision
  • Stay on sidewalks and only cross at corners, crosswalks or at traffic signals
  • Beware of cars backing up or turning
  • Instruct children to stay off cellphones and always watch where they are going
  • Have a preset time for your child to return

Motorist Tips                      

  • Stay off cellphones and be alert – don’t drive distracted
  • Be alert for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs, where they might not normally be walking
  • SLOW DOWN!  Be alert for children running out between cars, if you are going to fast it might be too late
  • Be extra cautious entering or exiting driveways or when making turns
  • Discourage new or inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

Halloween should be a fun time for everyone, but it is important not to forget some of the dangers that exist.  Follow these practical tips and help ensure that it is not only an enjoyable but safe time.