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Safety precautions urged for pandemic Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, the RCMP and Alberta government have relayed some important tips to remain safe during the event. According to Cpl.
The RCMP and Alberta government have shared helpful tips to ensure Halloween is fun and safe in 2020. File Photo/Rocky View Publishing

With Halloween just around the corner, the RCMP and Alberta government have relayed some important tips to remain safe during the spooky evening.

According to Cpl. Tammy Keibel, media relations officer for the RCMP’s Southern Alberta District, children should never trick or treat alone.

“Always go with parents or a guardian,” she said. “In past years, you may go with a group of friends although that may not be appropriate this year considering COVID-19 protocols.”

She added kids planning to trick or treat should also use reflective gear on costumes to stay visible to motorists. Additionally, Keibel said face paint may be a better alternative than a spooky mask as it obstructs vision less.

“You should also ensure costumes are big enough to support layers because we are experiencing colder weather and snow,” Keibel said.

Keibel added not everyone participates in Halloween, so families should only knock on doors at homes that are well-lit and obviously handing out treats.

“Never go inside to get your treats,” she said. “It is preferable to wait outside and give your self the space to social distance.”

This year, Keibel said, it is especially important to have an adult not only inspect candy before it is eaten but also disinfect any packaging, just to be safe.

RCMP also asks drivers to be aware of the additional foot traffic on Halloween.

“It will be dark out,” Keibel said. “Because children will be excited about the event, they aren’t going to be as attentive to vehicles on the road. Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be trick or treating, reduce speed and stay alert.”

On Halloween, according to Keibel, there is always the opportunity for suspicious and criminal activity.

“If you do see something that is suspicious or out of the norm, even for Halloween, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local RCMP detachment,” Keibel said.

Halloween will be unique this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, the government of Alberta has also issued a number of safety tips on Most importantly, according to the province, is no one should go trick or treating if they feel ill.

“Choose costumes that allow a non-medical mask to be worn underneath and make sure you can see and breathe comfortably,” the government said. “Avoid touching doorbells or railings, call ‘trick or treat’ from two metres away, knock instead of using doorbells, use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces.”

Additional safety precautions recommended by the province for those handing out treats include using tongs to distribute prepackaged candy , handing out treats from your driveway or front lawn if weather permits and wearing a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose and mouth.

Jordan Stricker,
Follow me on Twitter @Jay_Strickz