Halloween 2020 – Staying Safe During A Pandemic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VANCOUVER, B.C., OCTOBER 28, 2020 – Halloween is a fun time of year enjoyed by children and adults alike. But as we all know, it can also be dangerous. With this year’s global pandemic, there’s an added element of risk to consider.
“Every year there are important precautions that parents, trick-or-treaters, and homeowners should take to make Halloween a fun and safe event for everyone. This year is different, and so, Ambulance Paramedics of BC is asking the public to take some extra precautions to ensure we minimize risks of transferring COVID-19,” says Megan Lawrence, Provincial Education Director and primary care paramedic with the Ambulance Paramedics of BC.
Whether you are handing out candy, going to a party, or have children who will be trick-or-treating, Ambulance Paramedics of BC offers these tips to help ensure everyone’s safety.
- Trick-or-treat in small groups and leave space between your group and others.
- Make space when handing out treats.
- Skip the Halloween mask and opt for a personal protective mask. Do NOT wear both because it will be difficult to breathe.
- If you are planning to hand out candy, instead of a shared bowl for kids to grab candy, hand out individual treats using tongs.
- Ensure trick-or-treaters are visible at night! Pick a light-coloured costume if possible. Add reflective material to costumes (available at fabric or craft stores). Glow sticks are an inexpensive way to increase visibility and can be found at most dollar stores. Always bring a flashlight trick-or-treating (most smartphones are equipped with a flashlight function or app).
- Ensure costumes fit properly. Avoid oversized shoes, capes that are too long, or bulky additions to costumes.
- Consider putting your child’s name and a contact phone number on the costume in case you get separated.
- When planning your trick-or-treat route stick to areas you are familiar with. Ensure your route is well lit and preferably has sidewalks and crosswalks.
- When out trick-or-treating, stick to one side of the street, and then cross once at a crosswalk if possible.
- Some candy presents a choking hazard to small children, so parents should be vigilant.
- Do not eat any of your treats until inspected by an adult.
- Keep your home well lit, including driveways, pathways and porches. Ensure that all pathways are clear of debris, including fall hazards like wet leaves.
- If you are NOT planning to hand out candy, turn off your porch light so children don’t approach.
- Be extra vigilant and slow down. Trick-or-treaters may be too excited to obey the rules of the road, so be prepared for unpredictable behaviour.
- Limit social gatherings in size and keep guests to those within your bubble to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
- The safest ride home is the one we plan for. Ensure you have a safe ride home with a sober driver.
- If you choose to use recreational or illicit drugs, ensure you never use alone – have a sober friend with you who can call 911 in case of emergency.
NOTE THAT FIREWORKS ARE BANNED IN MANY CITIES/MUNICIPALITIES OF BC. PLEASE ABIDE BY YOUR LOCAL LAWS.
- ALWAYS read the instructions first!!! This is extremely important!
- Only sober adults (18 years or over) should handle fireworks.
- Only light one firework at a time and never handle fireworks that have been lit.
- Ensure you wear protective glasses and gloves.
- Limit use of baggy clothes and keep hair away from fire sources. Ensure you are not wearing any flammable material (including your costume).
This Halloween try to be outside as much as possible and follow provincial guidelines when it comes to COVID-19.
Visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website and for the most recent COVID-19 related orders visit the BC Provincial Health Office website.
Also, for more Halloween safety tips view the Ambulance Paramedics of BC’s public safety announcement video here: https://youtu.be/hvUY7BD0QV8
About Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC:
Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of British Columbia is the union organization that represents the 4,500+ Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of the province of British Columbia, Canada. Please visit www.apbc.ca for more information.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: