Costume Safety: Picking a great costume is an exciting part of Halloween preparation, and Stow Police Department encourages parents/guardians to consider these tips while choosing a costume:
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- Any props should be soft, and no part of the costume should impair vision or movement.
- Wear sturdy shoes and temperature appropriate clothing under costume.
- If children will be allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them a flashlight or glow sticks to ensure they are visible to drivers.
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it on a small area of skin first.
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Trick-or-Treating Safety: According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. To help prevent such a tragedy, parents and trick-or-treaters are urged to consider these tips before heading out:
- A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds.
- If older children or teenagers are going out alone, plan and review a route that you feel is safe and acceptable for them to follow.
- Agree on a specific time older children and teenagers should return home.
- Teach your children never to enter a stranger's home or car.
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
- Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street. Always look both ways before crossing the street.
- Families participating in trick-or-treating should be mindful of these additional safety tips regarding COVID-19:
- Wear a face mask or face covering.
- Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
- Refrain from touching your face.
- Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet of physical distance from all other participants who are not members of the same household.
Driving Safety: Stow Police Department would also like to offer safety tips for those who plan to be on the road during trick-or-treating hours:
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
While many communities will once again hold trick-or-treating events this year, Stow Police Department still urges all residents to take precautions against COVID-19. Anyone who feels unwell, has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or who has tested positive for COVID-19 should stay at home and refrain from Halloween activities.
Those who do not wish to participate in trick-or-treating are asked to shut off their outdoors lights as an indicator.
Handing out Treats: If you will be handing out candy this year, Stow Police Department recommends these tips to help stop the spread:
- Avoid providing candy via a shared bowl, and instead use small, individual bags for each trick-or-treater.
- Wear a face covering while distributing candy to trick or treaters.
- Practice good hygiene and ensure your hands have been washed before handing out candy.
Those who do not want to participate in trick-or-treating activities this year due to the ongoing pandemic can instead consider these lower-risk alternatives:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them, or at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends.
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
- Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.
Chief Sallese and the Stow Police Department wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween!