My five-year-old nephew, Ben, is a great source of pride for his electrician father, Dan. Last Halloween, Ben refused to cheat or treat in a certain house because he noticed that the decorations there posed a fire hazard. The video below describes some of the "traditional" hazards and ways to mitigate them, from eliminating hazard and fall hazards to preventing fire and animal-related hazards.
And while much of the focus on Halloween risk reduction is at home, Donald R. Grady, a personal injury lawyer in Boston, says that the biggest dangers actually involve cars.
"You see an increase in car accidents," says Grady. "Especially with teenagers who have no adults with them and who rush from house to house."
The Curse 2020
Perhaps predictably now, 2020 has aroused the spooky holiday threats. COVID-19 has introduced new Halloween concerns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a list of low-, moderate- and high-risk activities for Halloween during a time of pandemic.
Lower risk activities include:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with family members and showing them
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
- Decorating your house , apartment or living space  Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
Moderate risk activities include:
- Participating in one-way trick-or-treat, where individually wrapped sweets bags are set up for families to grab and walk while continuing to social distance
- Having a small group, outdoors, outdoor costume parade with people spaced more than 6 meters apart
- Attending a costume party held outdoors, where protection masks are used and people can stay more than 6 meters apart.
The CDC provides precautions and additional guidance for these and other moderate risk activities, so if you even think about them, definitely read the relevant guidance. It recommends against the following:
- Traditional trick-or-treat where sweets are distributed to children who go door to door
- "Trunk-or-treat", where sweets are distributed from suitcases of cars lined up in large parking lots
- Participate in cramped costume parties held indoors
- Go to an indoor haunted house where people can be crowded together and shout
- Go on hay or tractor rides with people who are not in the household
- alcohol or drugs, which can condemn assessment and increase risky behavior
- Travel to a rural autumn festival that does not exist in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.