Tips for a Fun and Safe Halloween

Halloween is supposed to provide some gently-scary neighborhood fun.  But the CDC rates traditional trick-or-treating – where candy is handed out at the door – to be a higher risk activity. And with the threat of COVID-19 this year, Halloween may be an even scarier holiday.  So what can you do to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe and still have a ghoulishly good time?

It’s important to follow the rules put in place in your state, city or town. If trick-or-treating is allowed in your community and you weigh the risks and decide to continue the tradition, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Make Trick or Treating Safer

If you’re handing out candy, avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. Some people are making so-called ‘candy chutes’ or decorated pipes that enable people to deliver candy to trick or treaters while maintaining proper social distance.

If you’re not feeling crafty, another approach is to make individual bags of candy and line them up at the end of your driveway for kids to ‘grab-and-go’. (Remember  to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before handling any treats.) If you want to be a part of the experience, wear a mask, set out some chairs, and wave to the trick-or-treaters from a safe distance as they grab a goodie.

Trick-or-treaters should wear a mask. A costume mask should not be worn over a cloth mask because it could be difficult to breathe. Instead, make the cloth mask a part of your costume. Trick-or-treaters should also carry hand sanitizer  to use after touching objects. (Hand sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol.)  When kids get home, they should head straight to the sink and wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating any treats.

Lower-risk alternatives

If you decide to forego trick or treating this year, there are still plenty of things to do for fun. Consider taking part in some lower-risk activities, such as:

  • Hold a “Halloween Egg Hunt” – your little ones can put on their costumes and search for goodies hidden in or around your house.
  • Carve a pumpkin – invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. Put the jack-o-lanterns on display, then walk the neighborhood and vote on the spookiest pumpkin.
  • Hold a virtual costume contest. Send e-gift cards so winners can get a special prize.
  • Visit a pumpkin patch or corn maze

Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday for the kids and the kids at heart. It may look different than in the past, but it is still possible to have a good time. No matter what you decide to do, follow the basics:  wear a mask, maintain at least six feet of distance from others, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

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