Gov. Kelly, Safe Kids Kansas encourage Halloween alternatives

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 11:12 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly and Safe Kids Kansas are encouraging COVID-19 safe Halloween alternatives.

Governor Laura Kelly says she is joining Safe Kids Kansas to encourage families to look for creative alternatives for traditional Halloween activities encouraging safety and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

“It is unfortunate that this year, Halloween will look a little bit different for Kansas kids,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “But by using commonsense safety measures, families can still enjoy holiday fun while limiting the spread of COVID-19. I encourage all Kansans to read and follow Safe Kids Kansas' commonsense guidelines this weekend.”

Gov. Kelly said the safety guidelines are as follows:

  • Planning Your Costume:
    • When picking a costume, it should be the right size to eliminate tripping and falling.
    • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape and stickers and choose light-colored clothing for greater visibility in the dark
    • Nontoxic face paint and makeup should be used to make sure kids can see because full-face Halloween masks can be hard for children to see through.
    • Facemasks to protect against COVID-19 should be worn, but not decorated with paint or magic markers as they can be toxic.
  • When Halloween activities take you outside the home – Tips for Kids:
    • Carry glow sticks or flashlights and put retroreflective tape on costumes to help be seen by drivers as well as to help children see in the dark.
    • Stick to the sidewalks when possible and only cross streets at corners and crosswalks. Look both ways when crossing the street and make contact or wave at drivers stopped at the intersection to make sure you are seen.
    • Stay off electronic devices. Stay aware when walking and crossing the street.
    • Watch cars turning and backing up. Teach kids to never go into the street or cross between parked cars and be careful around driveways and alleys.
    • Accompany kids under 12 years old for trick or treating. If kids are mature enough to go without supervision, tell them to stay in familiar areas that are well lit, stay on sidewalks and trick or treat in small groups. Make sure phones are on hand in case of emergencies and remind them not to let it be a distraction.
  • When Halloween activities take you outside the home - Tips for drivers:
    • Stay alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Kids are excited because of the holiday and may move in unpredictable ways.
    • In residential neighborhoods slow down. Remember popular trick or treating hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
    • Reduce distractions inside cars like talking on the phone or eating in order to concentrate on the surroundings.
  • When you’re planning Halloween activities at home:
    • Use glow sticks and battery-powered candles to light pumpkins instead of real candles. This prevents burns and open flames.
    • Adults should do the caring. Kids can do the designing and scooping of seeds, but when it comes to sharp knives, adults should take care of this.
    • Keep decorations away from flames or fires, light bulbs and heaters. Paper decorations and cornstalks can catch fire easily. Make sure smoke alarms are working and review fire escape plans with your family in case there is a fire.
    • Keep cleaning products away from children’s reach and sight. Additional cleaning products and disinfectants are kept in homes right now and kids are often eye-level with items on counters and under kitchen and bathroom sinks. Remember to keep cleaning supplies and sanitizers away from the reach of children and save the Poison Help number in case there is an emergency: 1-800-222-1222.

For more guidance on celebrating Halloween safely during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website.

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