How to have a fun and safe Halloween during COVID-19
Halloween will certainly look different due to COVID-19, but there are several ways you can make Halloween fun while staying safe. Pediatrician Christina Martin, MD, recommended the following advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics when it comes to celebrating Halloween this year.
How can you safely give out candy?
We all love seeing kids dressed up as their favorite princess or superhero and that won’t change this year. If your neighborhood is planning to do trick-or-treating, be sure to avoid having clusters of children at your doorstep. Use this as an opportunity to grab a lawn chair and sit outside and enjoy the fall weather. You could also line up goodie bags along the driveway or curb for families to pick up.
Do costume masks offer protection from COVID-19?
Incorporating face masks into your child’s costume is a creative way to keep them safe. A costume mask alone does not substitute for a cloth face covering unless it has multiple layers of breathable fabric and covers the mouth and nose.
Do parents need to wipe down candy?
Although it is not exactly known how much COVID-19 spreads via touching objects, the safest option this year is to wipe down candy or let it sit a couple of days prior to eating.
What are some fun activities kids could do instead of trick-or-treating?
If traditional trick-or-treating is not an option for your family this year or if you are looking to try something different, there are still plenty of opportunities for your child to enjoy themselves this Halloween. Some options include:
- Throw a virtual Halloween party. Invite others to join you virtually so your child can show off their exciting costume.
- Host an outdoor costume parade. 2020 has been a year of parades. Have an outdoor costume parade where everyone can stay socially distanced and still showcase their Halloween spirit.
- Enjoy an outdoor movie night. You can snuggle with family while wearing your costume and indulging in a spooky snack outdoors.
- Decorate pumpkins. Halloween is not Halloween without pumpkins. Take advantage of a night at home to decorate pumpkins with family.
Are pumpkin patches and haunted houses okay to visit?
Outdoor venues can provide lots of family fun this fall. Pumpkin patches are great if you can maintain six feet of distance from others. Be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after visiting and wear your mask. This year it is recommended you avoid indoor haunted houses, but you can try to substitute with an outdoor haunted trail or corn maze.
It is important to remember that no matter how you choose to celebrate Halloween, you should continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations of social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing.
“Halloween will be different this year, but showing excitement for safe modifications can make it just as fun for everyone and it may start some new family traditions,” said Dr. Martin.