It may be “spooky season”, but the thought of navigating trick-or-treating in the time of the Coronavirus is a very real kind of scary for many people, and especially parents. Halloween and fall festivities may look a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be just as fun. The following tips can help keep COVID-19 trick-or-treat a pleasant and safe experience. With a little planning and organizing, this year may not look as traditional as in the past, but Halloween can still bring with it the tricks and treats we love so much.
Read on to learn my top six tips for trick or treating this year, and don't miss the free download included below.
Be aware of local rules & regulations
With some areas requiring masks in public places or prohibiting gatherings of certain sizes, it is important that you understand your health department’s current policies and procedures. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/index.html to search for your local health department and for more information about navigating guidelines in your state and city.
Pick a costume with protection
Incorporate protective gear into this year’s costume. Masks & gloves can easily be added to almost any costume. Superheroes and animal costumes are top contenders, and past year’s costumes can even be modified with matching masks to make them appropriate for this year.
Stay socially distanced from other trick or treaters
If you are physically going trick or treating this year, be sure to keep your distance. At least 6 feet should separate you from other trick-or-treaters on your door-to-door adventures.
Give your trick-or-treaters a sign
Especially if your household has immunocompromised or at risk members, set a sign out explaining what you expect of trick-or-treaters. You may still get a stray visitor or two that rings the doorbell, but most trick-or-treaters will be happy to oblige if you set candy out and tell them how much they are allowed to take.
Trick-or-treat inside this year, or bring Halloween to them
It’s okay if you feel uncomfortable going out for Halloween this year. Instead, a fun alternative can be to have each child dress in their costumes and knock on each others doors one at a time. This will both provide a safe experience and allow children to participate in trick-or-treating while showing off their costumes.
For children who are immunocompromised or friends who won’t be able to traditionally participate in the Halloween trick-or-treating this year, you can still send something spooky and sweet to them! Many restaurants and bakeries are offering expanded delivery options. Send your friends, favorite kids, and special teachers or other neighbors and loved ones a socially distanced gift by ordering something Halloween-themed to be delivered to their door.
Safe wrapping & Sanitizing Stations
If you plan to do a traditional trick-or-treating, it might be wise to pre-wrap small portions or pre-divide the store bought candy into BPA-free plastic bags. This will allow children and teens to grab and go without having a lot of little fingers digging through the candy bowl. You can also provide a “sanitizing station”, which can be as extravagant as a bar cart or as simple as a tray with hand sanitizer, lotion, gloves, masks, or any other protective gear you think will make for a safe experience.
Store-bought items are probably the best way to go this year as home-made goodies may carry an added risk of passing on the virus if the creator asymptomatic but sick. Also, it is important to encourage your children not to touch their mouth or face while you are out trick-or-treating, and please remind them to not eat their candy on the way -- this could increase risk of exposure for you and your neighbors.
The “right” way is the way that keeps you safe & healthy
Keep in mind that there is no “right” way to trick-or-treat this year. There are several alternative options and variations from the traditional Halloween activities. Just be sure that the option you choose is one that considers the ultimate safety or you and your family’s health. Be sure to communicate this information to those who may potentially be involved in your holiday festivities, and a happy Halloween holiday will be sure to follow!
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