MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The scariest time of the year is nearly upon us: Halloween. Though October 31 is traditionally the date for trick or treating, this year folks might also choose to celebrate on Saturday as well.

Friday morning, folks were lined up outside the Spirit Halloween costume store in East Memphis. Capacity restrictions meant only 150 people could be in the store at one time, but once inside, it’s easy to see why Halloween is one of the most anticipated and profitable holidays of the year.

“I’ve already bought my daughter her costume actually,” said Jessica Gold. “She’s going to be Sally from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’ We spent like $40, $50, I guess.”

If the long check-out lines are any indication, this Halloween will be busy. COVID restrictions have eased, and health care professionals consider it safe to go out.

“Well, Halloween is, thankfully, a special instance in that most of the activity we hope, barring bad weather, will be outside and then you really have an added safety factor that should make it safe for most people,” said Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, infectious disease specialist at Baptist.

He stresses unvaccinated people should still use a mask and be cautious in crowded situations like Halloween parties.

COVID aside, it’s important to remember a few safety tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
  • Fasten reflective tape to costumes or provide glow sticks
  •  Make sure a youngster’s vision isn’t obscured
  • Remind children to look both ways before crossing streets
  •  Everyone should put electronic devices down and pay attention to your surroundings
  • Plan a specific “Trick or Treat” route
  • Tell children not to eat treats till they return home
  •  Avoid food you’re allergic to

Another important reminder is to not take candy from strangers and teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home or car.

Parents are also urged to avoid letting their children go to homes that may belong to sex offenders. In Tennessee, Operation Blackout lists restrictions for registered sex offenders to ensure they aren’t participating in Halloween activities.

You can click here to check if sex offenders live in your area.