BATON ROUGE, La. – With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween celebrations may be a little different than previous years. But, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has tips for scaring away health risks as you get in the spooky spirit.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana encourages everyone to enjoy Halloween while taking precautions to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19, the flu and other infectious diseases.
• Outdoor events are safer than indoor ones. Stick to Halloween activities you can do outside like trick-or-treating, visiting pumpkin patches, taking hayrides or walking through outdoor haunted houses and decoration displays. Do these activities with small groups of people, preferably those who are part of your household. And, keep six feet between you and others.
• Wrapped treats are the trick. If you’re giving out Halloween goodies, individually wrapped items are best. Do not give out homemade items or unwrapped candy. And, try to avoid having multiple people put their hands into a bowl or bag to get treats. Give items to individual trick or treaters, or set them out on a table or your porch for easy pickup.
• Wear face masks (not to be confused with costume masks!) to protect children younger than 12 and others who cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine. The face mask should fit snugly and cover your nose and mouth. Costume masks and face coverings are not a substitute for a face mask. Masking is especially important if you’re attending indoor events, where there is a higher risk for diseases to spread.
• Stay home if you’re feeling sick. If you or your children have symptoms like coughing, runny nose, fever, sore throat, upset stomach or diarrhea, do not go to events, and do not invite others to gather at your home.
• Get the Vax. Health officials recommend everyone age 12 and older gets the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective at preventing death, hospitalization or severe illness from COVID-19. If you have not gotten your COVID-19 vaccine yet, make plans to do so as soon as possible. You can call the State of Louisiana’s Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 or visit the Louisiana Department of Health’s website for help scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. And, October is the best time to get your flu shot for peak protection during the winter. Flu shots are widely available at pharmacies, clinics and doctors’ offices statewide. Anyone six months or older can get a flu shot.
Blue Cross shares more tips in this “COVID-19 and Halloween Safety” video (1:57).
Other general Halloween safety tips include:
Be careful on the road. Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. As a driver, go slowly and be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to keep your headlights on and watch out for trick-or-treaters.
If you’re walking around on Halloween, put away your phone and other distracting devices. Watch out for cars. Make yourself more visible at night by choosing a light-colored costume, wearing a reflective piece of clothing or decorating your costume with reflective tape. Remember to carry a flashlight.
Trick-or-treat safely. Make sure your children know they should never enter a stranger’s home or car. If older kids are going out without you, they should go in a group and have a phone with them. Remind kids to wait until they get home to eat their treats.
If you plan to give out treats, keep your home safe. Clear away objects that trick-or-treaters could trip over and keep the lights on outside your home so visitors can see where they are walking. Put your pets in a room or the yard so they will not jump on, trip or attack any guests. And, consider using battery-operated candles for your decorations to avoid a fire hazard.
Be conscious with costumes. If you use costume makeup, make sure it is hypoallergenic. Don’t share makeup with other people, as this could spread bacteria. Never use costume contact lenses that do not require a prescription. These cool and creepy contact lenses often pop up around Halloween, but be wary: They can lead to serious eye issues such as scratches, sores, infections or even vision loss.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos on the COVID-19 vaccines and other health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can connect with Blue Cross on social media for regular updates. Blue Cross posts often on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past three years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.