Topeka, KS (STL.News) Governor Laura Kelly today joined Safe Kids Kansas to encourage Kansas families to seek creative alternatives for regular Halloween activities that will encourage safety and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“It is unfortunate that this year, Halloween will look a little bit different for Kansas kids,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “But by using commonsense safety measures, families can still enjoy holiday fun while limiting the spread of COVID-19. I encourage all Kansans to read and follow Safe Kids Kansas’ commonsense guidelines this weekend.”
The safety guidelines are as follows:
Planning Your Costume:
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls, whether around the house or on the street.
- For greater visibility, decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colored clothing.
- Choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible to ensure kids can see because a full-face Halloween masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Facemasks to protect from COVID should not be decorated with paint or magic markers as they can be toxic.
When Halloween activities take you outside the home – Tips for Kids:
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights or put retroreflective tape on costumes to help children see and be seen by drivers.
- Use sidewalks whenever possible and only cross the street at corners and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing the street and make eye contact or wave at any drivers stopped at the intersection to make sure they see you.
- Put electronic devices down. Keep eyes up, not down at your screen, when walking and crossing the street.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars and be especially careful around driveways and alleys.
- Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit, stay on sidewalks if available, and trick-or-treat in small groups. Make sure they have a phone in case of emergencies, but remind them not to let it be a distraction.
When Halloween activities take you outside the home – Tips for drivers:
- Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
When you’re planning Halloween activities at home:
- Use glow sticks and battery-powered fake candles to light up jack-o-lanterns instead of real candles. This will help prevent burns from open flames.
- Let adults do the carving. Children can do the designing and scooping out pumpkin seeds, but when it comes to sharp knives, leave the carving to the grown-ups.
- Keep decorations away from open flames, light bulbs and heaters. Paper decorations and things like cornstalks can catch fire easily. Double check to make sure smoke alarms are working correctly and review your fire escape plan with your family in case there is a fire.
- Store household cleaning products out of children’s reach and sight. We all have additional cleaning products and disinfectants in the home right now and young kids are often eye-level with items on counters and under kitchen and bathroom sinks. So, remember to keep cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers where children can’t reach them and save the Poison Help number in your phone in case there is an emergency: 1-800-222-1222.
For KDHE guidance on safely celebrating Halloween during the COVID19 pandemic, visit https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1468/KDHE-Guidance-for-Celebrating-Halloween-PDF—92320
For more tips and resources to keep kids safe from injuries during the pandemic – including our Parents Guide – visit our Coronavirus Resources page at https://www.safekids.org/parents-guide-child-safety.
Additional Halloween ideas, guidelines and recommendations, are available through the Centers For Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
About Safe Kids Kansas
Safe Kids Kansas works to prevent childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children. Safe Kids Kansas is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing injuries in children. Coalition members include over 70 statewide organizations, agencies and businesses and a network of local coalitions across the state. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment serves as the Lead Agency for the coalition.