#childsafety | Bedford Police Department Shares Guidance for Staying Safe, Healthy this Halloween

For immediate releaseBEDFORD N.H. — Chief John J. Bryfonski and the Bedford Police Department would like to share safety tips for trick-or-treating and alternative Halloween activities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Trick-or-treating will take place in Bedford on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Should residents choose to partake in trick-or-treating, they are encouraged to make individually wrapped goodie bags that can be placed at the end of a driveway or the edge of their yard for families to take. Those who do not wish to participate in Trick-or-Treat are asked to shut off their outdoor lights as an indicator.

“Unlike previous years, we are strongly encouraging families to take necessary safety precautions in order to stay safe and healthy this Halloween,” Chief Bryfonski said. “This includes wearing a face mask or covering if you trick-or-treating or handing out candy, only trick-or-treating in neighborhoods that you are familiar with, and respecting those who may not wish to participate this year.”

Children should:

  • Trick-or-treat in neighborhoods that they are familiar with
  • Only approach well-lit houses and always travel in small groups
  • Wear clothing that is bright, reflective and flame retardant
  • Use flashlights for guidance on sidewalks, walkways and when crossing the street
  • Make sure masks have eye-holes large enough to see any tripping hazards or oncoming traffic, and mouth openings large enough to breathe easily
  • Practice safe street-crossing by using crosswalks and walk signals
  • Wear sturdy shoes and temperature appropriate clothing under costumes
  • Carry a cell phone and know their parents’ number as well as their own 
  • Have their names and addresses attached to their costumes. 
  • Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
  • When walking on roads, walk against traffic..

Parents and guardians should:

  • Supervise children under 12 years old, including when crossing the street
  • Establish a designated curfew for older children
  • Make sure children are wearing safe costumes that fit well and don’t drag on the ground
  • Apply reflective tape to your child’s arms, legs and treat bags
  • Assure costume accessories such as swords and other pointed objects are made with soft and safe materials
  • Inspect all candy before children eat it
  • If you are driving, go slowly, watch for children in the street or on medians, exit driveways carefully, and have children get out of the vehicle on the curb side.

Homeowners should:

  • Keep inside and outside lights on during trick-or-treat hours
  • Avoid placing lit candles and jack-o-lanterns on doorsteps and walkways where costumes could brush against them and cause burns or fire
  • Only hand out candy that is packaged and wrapped
  • Avoid handing out gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys that could cause choking or lead poisoning for small children

All residents are advised to take the following precautions from the Department of Health and Human Services if they choose to trick-or-treat this year:

  • Wear a face mask or face covering when trick-or-treating or passing out treats. 
  • Observe good hand hygiene, including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
  • Refrain from touching your face.
  • Stay home and refrain from Halloween activities, including handing out Halloween treats, if:
    • you feel unwell;
    • you have tested positive for COVID-19;
    • you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19; or
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet of physical distance from all other participants who are not members of the same household.

Additionally, the Bedford Police department would like to share the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists of several low and moderate risk alternative activities that community members can take part in for Halloween.

This includes lower risk alternatives such as carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them, or at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends; having a virtual Halloween costume contest or a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart; or having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.

Additionally, pumpkin carving should be done on flat, stable surfaces with good lighting. Families are encouraged to have children draw a face or diagram on the outside of the pumpkin, but have a parent or guardian do the carving.

Residents are encouraged to avoid higher risks activities, such as indoor haunted houses or costume parties; hayrides or tractor rides with those outside of your household; or having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots.

More information and holiday safety tips from the CDC can be found here.

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