October is finally here, and many families and kids wonder how they will celebrate Halloween this year. Many states are encouraging their families to avoid trick-or-treating because of COVID-19, but if you do decide to participate in trick-or-treating this year, there are ways to do it safely.
Even before COVID-19, most parents took safety precautions when trick-or-treating. For example, they made sure the candy their child brought home was in its original wrapper and hadn't been tampered with, or having their child carry a flashlight or wear reflectors, so they'd been seen. These precautions are still needed for safe trick-or-treating, but this year, there are a few more to consider.
The year's Halloween activities require some additional forethought. Here are our Top 7 Ideas for Safely Trick-or-Treating During a Pandemic:
1. Wear a Mask
Do this even if your family is outdoors and social distancing. Masking is necessary because people outside of your family unit will out and about. Wearing a mask at all times will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep your children safe. Some of the youngest trick or treaters may need help in understanding the importance of wearing a mask. HealthStart explains the ins and outs of wearing a mask in Episode #33 of our Snack Science Video Series.
2. Practice Proper Hygiene
When it comes to COVID-19, it is vital that everyone practices proper hygiene and that they so that they stay safe. Before heading out, make sure everyone has washed their hands and sanitize to prevent spreading germs. Once your kids are ready to trick-or-treat, make sure that your children wait in a socially distanced line instead of bunching up around strangers to get candy. You should also bring hand sanitizer and have your child use it after they get candy. Even if your child wants to eat the candy, you must remind them that they will have to wait to eat it until they get home so you can inspect it for any tampering and disinfect it with spray. While they wait for their treats at home, this will be a great time to have them wash their hands and sanitize before eating any candy.
3. Avoid Houses Not Practicing Social Distancing
Even though grabbing candy is a very brief activity, it can be just as dangerous as throwing a Halloween party. If a house only has a grab bowl, then it would be best to avoid it. "It is a good idea … not having a bunch of kids' hands in the candy bowl," according to Dr. Angela Myers, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy. If you plan on giving out candy this year, a great option would be to pre-make individual candy bags and pass out to trick-or-treaters one at a time.
4. Get Crafty: 3 Ideas Below
Suppose your family plans on giving out candy for Halloween. In that case, check out some of these unique ways that other families have innovated to keep everyone healthy this Halloween. Such as making a candy chute that will keep everyone at a safe distance and allow kids to have even more fun by catching the candy in their bucket.
Have A Halloween Egg Hunt
Just like you would do for Easter, but make it Halloween themed, such as adding glow sticks and candy in the egg so that trick-or-treaters can find their treats. You can make if a fun DIY with your little one by painting some spooky designs on the eggs such as these:
Transform Your Yard Into A Candy Graveyard
This is similar to the egg hunt, but more so! You and your family can get super creative with this one. You can also choose how you want to have trick-or-treaters join in on the fun. You could have one-child come into the yard at a time and having the rest wait in a socially distanced line until it’s their turn to hunt for the candy.
5. Reverse Trick-or-Treat in Neighborhoods
Some neighborhoods plan to reverse trick-or-treat. This is similar to COVID-19 birthday parades. Instead of driving by someone’s house and dropping off birthday presents, drop off Halloween candy instead. This requires a bit of coordination by neighbors, but it certainly can be done. You can also choose to have people drive or walk by the house with an adult delivering candy to the kids. The adults can dress in spooky costumes and make it like a Halloween parade!
6. Follow Your State/Local Recommendations
According to CDC guidance, traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and many regular Halloween activities are considered "high risk" for spreading the virus. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in Halloween activities. At the same time, many state and local governments discourage traditional trick-or-treating such as going door to door. Instead, they suggest that if you put candy in a bowl, you should wash your hands before doing so and leave the candy at the edge of the driveway. Or use a candy chute to keep a social distance like our previous examples. There are many ways to keep a distance; you just have to get creative.
7. Have Fun and Stay Safe
Although Halloween will require us to be more cautious this year, it doesn’t mean you and your child can’t have fun. You can stay as safe as possible by following our tips, practicing proper hygiene, and having a fun Halloween with a little creativity.
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