What’s the Red Cross saying about trick-or-treating in 2021?

If you’re a parent of children of trick-or-treating age, it’s possible this or a similar thought has crossed your mind of late — how do I handle it this year? Yes, things are better, and yes, the CDC says trick-or-treating should be fine in 2021. But it can’t be full-proof, can it be?

As such, the American Red Cross offers these tips and more to help keep you and your loved ones safe this Halloween.

Make your cloth mask part of your costume. A costume mask is not a safe substitute for a cloth mask. Avoid wearing a costume mask over a cloth mask as it can make breathing difficult.

Plan outdoor activities and avoid indoor events where the risk of virus transmission is higher.

Bring hand sanitizer with you while trick-or-treating and use it after touching objects or other people. Wash your hands when you get home.

Avoid trick-or-treating in large groups, and social distance from others around the neighborhood.

Make sure trick-or-treaters can see and be seen. Give kids a flashlight to light their way and consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.

Plan the trick-or-treat route in advance and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door.

It’s not only vampires and monsters people have to look out for. Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.

Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. Avoid running. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars.

Only visit homes that have a porch light on, and never go inside.

sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

For those planning to welcome trick-or-treaters to their homes, follow these safety steps:

Hand out treats outdoors, if possible.

Allow direct contact with trick-or-treaters by setting up an area with individually bagged treats for kids to take. Wash your hands before handling treats.

Create social distancing and wear a cloth mask.

Light the area well so young visitors can see.

Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.

“Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the U.S. and with many communities returning to normal activities this school year, people should expect a higher volume of visitors in search of tricks and treats,” Rosie Taravella, CEO of the American Red Cross New Jersey Region, said. “Whether you’re handing out goodies or going door-to-door, with just a few simple considerations, you can help keep your family and those around you safe.”


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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.