Halloween is a very exciting times for kids. Between the candy and the costumes, who wouldn’t be excited? But, this year, Halloween is going to look a lot different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the CDC, traditional trick-or-treating can lead to spreading COVID0-19. But have no fear —there are many ways your family can still be festive and have fun on Halloween. Dr. Gigi Chawla, chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota, has tips to safely celebrate for your family:
Is it safe to trick-or-treat?
With COVID-19 cases rising in Minnesota, Dr. Chawla says trick-or-treating is not a safe way to celebrate Halloween this year. Trick-or-treating, even when modified to be safer for COVID-19, does have the potential to be a “super spreader” event, so it may be safest to keep Halloween celebrations at home this year.
However, if this is a tradition you are not willing to part with, there are some tips to make it safer. Only go to homes that you know—such relatives or close friends—in case contact-tracing is needed afterwards. Even though you are only visiting familiar homes, it is important to limit face-to-face contact whenever you can. Families can try one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped treats are lined up outside for kids to grab and go.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, keep these safety precautions in mind:
- Wear a mask! And remember, costume masks are not a substitution for face coverings. But don’t worry—Children’s Minnesota has tips to incorporate a mask with your child’s costume.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after trick-or-treating.
- Avoid large groups and keep 6 feet of distance from other families, friends and households.
Safer ways to celebrate Halloween
Trick-or-treating isn’t the only way your family can get in the Halloween spirit! Try any of these activities at your house—we promise these are all treats and no tricks:
- Scavenger hunt: Set out treats in your yard or home for kiddos to search for.
- Virtual Halloween party: Coordinate with friends or extended family to have a Halloween party over Zoom, Skype or FaceTime.
- Movie night: Celebrate by watching your favorite age-appropriate spooky movie and munching on some Halloween snacks. You can even dress up as your favorite characters from the movie!
- Celebrate outside: If weather permits, look for some outdoor community events or safely gather with your ‘bubble’ or ‘pod’ outside. Be sure to keep celebrations short and distanced, and don’t forget to wear your mask and clean your hands often.
Other Halloween concerns
COVID-19 isn’t the only safety concern parents may have on Halloween. Sometimes the treats can be a concern—especially for kids with food allergies. If you choose to participate in one-way trick-or-treating, offer some goody bags with non-edible treats—like crayons or bubbles— or non-allergen candies that all kids can enjoy. Add a teal pumpkin to your Halloween décor to let families know that you are offering treats that any child can safely enjoy.
While Halloween is only one day, the candy can last well into November. At home, parents should try to ration candy in the weeks following the holiday. This is an excellent opportunity to teach kids about moderation and balance with food.