26 Oct A Spooky (Pandemic Responsible) Celebration – Halloween Safety Tips For College Students
Let’s be honest: COVID-19 may not stop college students from partying this Halloween. After all, one of the highlights of going to college is socializing and building life-long friendships. And according to the CDC, if students celebrate in smaller groups outdoors this Halloween, there may be a lower risk of coronavirus transmissibility.
Of course, figuring out what “safe celebrating” means can be tricky. We all have different tolerances to illness, which means we all have differing risks. However, there are a few CDC-approved Halloween safety tips we feel students should know. Learning about these simple strategies will go a long way to help ensure that your student has a fun and safe experience this year.
Yea or Nay? – What’s The CDC’s Stance On Halloween Parties?
To help parents and students safely navigate Halloween in 2020, the CDC recently outlined the risk level of various activities. Unfortunately for students hoping to celebrate Halloween as usual, the CDC stated that one of the highest risk activities is crowded costume parties, especially if they’re indoors. The CDC also advises against visiting haunted houses, large fall festivals, and traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.
That said, there are ways party organizers could make their scary celebrations safer. One of the main things to look for is whether a party is indoors or outdoors. Per the CDC, outdoor parties are always the best choice. If a party has event organizers using temperature screening devices, that’s also a huge bonus.
While there is still a “moderate risk” at these outdoor parties, students can easily protect themselves by maintaining social distance, wearing a face mask, and washing their hands. You should also remind students to cover their drinks to reduce their risk — not to mention, date drug exposure.
It’s also important to mention that the CDC doesn’t consider costume masks as a replacement for face coverings. Students should always opt for cloth or paper face masks rather than costume accessories.
What Else Should College Parents Know Before Halloween This Year?
As a parent, you are understandably extra concerned about COVID-19. Beyond the CDC’s guidelines, here are a few other simple ways you can suggest to your student how to be protected this Halloween.
Consider suggesting alternative Halloween events going on at your student’s campus. For instance, many colleges are now hosting fun virtual activities like costume contests and movie screenings. You can still have fun dressing up with your friends without risking your health and safety. Have a student that loves haunted houses? Many cities are holding drive-thru haunted houses this Halloween to offer a safe alternative to this spooky tradition.
If your student decides to meet up with friends, encourage them to keep gatherings small. While large indoor parties are not a responsible way to celebrate, students might be able to find a few drive-in theatres nearby showing Halloween movies. While these ideas may not be “traditional,” they are all in the CDC’s “low risk” category.
For extra peace of mind, we also recommend downloading the Umergency app. Whenever your student feels unsafe, they can easily use Umergency’s “Urgent Alert” or “I am Safe” buttons to let parents and local authorities know there’s an emergency. Although we hope students never have to use this feature, it’s certainly empowering to know it’s literally in the palm of their hand.
Please Remember: If You Feel Sick, Stay Home!
As a final word of warning, students should never attend events if they feel under the weather. OK, we know you’ve probably heard this advice before, but it’s worth repeating. Sure, getting sick during Halloween stinks, but students must put their classmates’ safety first. Plus, since there are many virtual activities available, you’re bound to find a way to enjoy a spooky cyber-holiday this year!