Traditional ways of partaking in Halloween like trick or treating, costume parties or trunk or treat gatherings are now deemed high risk activities by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the pandemic but there are way to keep those costumed candy crusaders safe from COVID-19.
Jennifer Sobolik, CNP at Community Health Center of the Black Hills, says, “Another thing that some people are considering is making a candy shoot- so you can make kind of a tube that goes from your house out to the trick or treaters or ya know the safest option is avoiding trick or treating.”
Sobolik says to think of alternative activities like a candy scavenger hunt, carve or paint pumpkins or outdoor activities like a corn maze.
Make sure to mask up but don’t put a cloth mask over a Halloween mask, that could impair breathing.
Sobolik says, “The problem with Halloween masks is that they often have a lot of open places, some have big eye holes or there’s an open mesh spot- that’s not actually protecting anyone from those droplets being spread- so what they recommend is that you find a mask that you can incorporate into your Halloween costume.”
If you are out and about on Halloween make sure your ghosts and goblins are wearing some reflective clothing or carry glow sticks or flashlights to be seen by drivers.
CDC recommends that if you do trick or treat, wash hands before eating candy, sanitize or wipe down candy wrappers before eating or even leave the candy sit for a few days before eating and be socially distanced from other trick or treaters.
For people passing out candy, avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters, give out treats outdoors, if possible, set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take, wash hands before handling treats and wear a mask.
“We are not telling people to not celebrate Halloween- I think Halloween is a really fun town especially for kids- a lot of adults have fun at Halloween too (clearly), but find a way you can do it safely so I think it’s a good year to explain to you kids and to your kids and friends that maybe there’s an alternative this year,” says Sobolik.
Sobolik mentioned that a common occurrence on Halloween is children getting hit by cars, so children should wear a reflective piece of clothing and hold glow sticks or flashlights when out and about. Drivers should be overcautious of children on the streets on Halloween.
Also, parents should go through kid’s candy and make sure it’s age appropriate.
For a full list of CDC guidelines, click here.