Long Beach, CA - City of Long Beach officials are reminding trick-or-treaters and other Halloween revelers on October 31 to celebrate safely with a few tips and tricks to avoid potential holiday hazards, including reducing the risk of spreading of COVID-19.
The rate of accidental residential fires increases every year during the holiday season, starting with Halloween. Here are some ways to limit fire hazards:
- Candles Out. Instead of using an open-flame candle inside jack-o-lanterns or in other decorations, use battery-operated candles or glow sticks.
- Clear The Way. Do not block fire exits with decorations, and be sure you always have a clear way out in case of an emergency.
- Alarm Test. Remember to make sure all your smoke alarms are working.
With Halloween traditions such as pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating in the dark, it’s important to take a few safety precautions to avoid slips, falls and other injuries that could get in the way of the festivities. Things to keep in mind:
- Costume Care. Use caution with long or sharp costume accessories (such as swords or canes), and tread carefully in bulky costumes or costumes with long trailing fabric that can be a tripping or fire hazard.
- Can You See? While wearing Halloween masks or makeup that could reduce visibility, consider bringing a flashlight and glow sticks to help light your way, and use reflective tape so that others can see you.
- Don’t Go Alone. Trick-or-treaters should be accompanied by a parent or caregiver on Halloween night, and adults also are safest in groups. Someone in each group should have a cellphone, in case of emergency.
- Designate A Route. Before Halloween, decide where you want to trick-or-treat and set a course that is familiar and well-lit, with an agreed-upon time to return home. Do not go to houses without well-lit porch lights.
- Carve Carefully. Jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween tradition, but sharp knives and other carving tools can cause serious injuries and should never be used by children without adult supervision.
- Might Bite. Be cautious of dogs or other animals on the loose, and keep all pets indoors (and away from the Halloween candy).
- Allergy Alert. All candies should be checked before consumption. Many popular Halloween treats contain common allergens, including nuts, milk, egg, soy and wheat. Trick-or-treaters should bring necessary medications with them in case of an emergency and should not eat anything before an adult has checked the label.
During the holidays, it is especially important to note the importance of not driving while impaired. Here are some safety tips for drivers as well as others who might be on roadways or sidewalks for Halloween:
- See Me? When traveling outdoors on foot, by bike or other alternative mode of transportation on Halloween night, add reflective tape to your outfit or costume so that drivers and others can easily see you. Always be aware — or beware — of your surroundings and plan your route in advance.
- Look Fist. Always look both ways before crossing the street and obey all traffic signals. Pedestrians should use designated sidewalks and crosswalks, and trick-or-treaters should walk, not run, from door-to-door. It is safest not to take shortcuts through dark parks or alleyways.
- Boo Booze. Halloween celebrations often include alcohol consumption, which can increase a person’s risk of injury or death from accidental falls, burns, drownings, alcohol poisoning and other hazards. Consider the non-alcoholic witches brew.
- Don’t DUI. Remember that driving under the influence is more than drunk driving: it includes marijuana and some prescription and over-the-counter drugs, in addition to illegal drugs.
- Don’t Text and Drive. Avoid texting or otherwise using a cell phone while driving.
- Curfew Reminder. The law in Long Beach prohibits anyone 17-years-old or younger from being out past 10 p.m. without a parent/guardian, unless going to or returning home from work or an organized event supervised by an adult, without any detour or stop.
The City of Long Beach Department of Public Health and Human Services (Health Department) is encouraging everyone to celebrate Halloween in a way that helps reduce the risk of COVID-19, especially among those too young to be vaccinated or have yet to receive their vaccine. Here are some helpful hints:
- Celebrate Outdoors. Activities that take place outdoors, such as trick-or-treating in small groups, are safer than indoor activities in regards to spreading viruses and germs.
- Mask Up. One way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 is to incorporate cloth or surgical masks into your Halloween costume.
- Wash Hands. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating Halloween candy.
- Get Vaccinated. Everyone who is eligible should get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the single best way to protect yourself and those around you against the deadly virus. For more information and to register for the free shots at local clinics, go to the VaxLB website or MyTurn.ca.gov.
- Feeling Sick? Stay Home. If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19, rest at home with a fun Halloween book or movie.
Trick-or-treating from door-to-door is a cherished Halloween tradition, and Public Health Los Angeles is offering a helpful digital resource guide for families and individuals to have a “Spooky and COVID-Safe Halloween” as well as guidelines specific to hosting Halloween events for those who are looking for alternatives.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.