Traditional activities on Halloween are fun and festive, however some traditions can increase the exposure to spreading COVID-19 and other viruses. However, Halloween should not be put on hold because of COVID-19! We can still celebrate and have a spooky time with friends and family while promoting healthy habits. In fact, safety measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing hands can be easily incorporated into festivities.
Trick- or- Treating
Trick-or-treating is one of the best parts of Halloween. Seeing your kids get all dressed up and excited when they get their favorite treats is heartwarming. And sneaking some of the kid’s candy is always something to look forward too! However, going from house to house and being exposed to people you haven’t been around is definitely a risk for possibly getting or spreading COVID-19 and other viruses. But have no fear because there are plenty of ideas to safely trick-or-treat.
- Avoid direct contact with other trick-or-treaters: Make sure the kids and you keep your distance from other trick-or- treaters while prowling the neighborhood for the house with the king-sized candy bars. If you see people you know, wave and talk from a distance but make sure to not come into to close contact.
- Give treats outside: Try to remain outside or leave a bowl out for trick-or-treaters on the front steps so no one has to come into direct contact with each other.
- Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take: Have a small table or a tray with wrapped individual bags of candy for children to enjoy. This way children don’t need to touch all of the candies looking for their favorite Reese’s or Kit-Kat bar.
- Wash hands before handling treats: Make sure that everyone (trick-or-treaters and candy givers) have washed their hands before giving and receiving candy. Washing your hands prevents the spread of germs and kills any bacteria you have touched from surfaces.
Wear a mask
- Make your mask apart of your costume! : An ironic fact about Halloween is that many costumes come with masks. Decorate and make your mask apart of your costume! Make sure that the mask is still a cloth mask to properly protect yourself and others from spreading COVID-19. Wearing a Halloween mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
- Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask (or vice versa): Doubling up with these two different types of masks can make festivities and trick-or-treating uncomfortable. It can especially make it very difficult to breathe.
- For children under the age of 2, masks should NOT be worn: The same applies to anyone who have problems and difficulties trouble breathing.
Social distance and wash your hands
- Stay 6 feet Apart: Keep your distance from others who do not live with you. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in contact with others for a long amount time.
- Bring hand sanitizer: Use hand sanitizer after touching other objects and objects. Especially while trick-or-treating. Using hand sanitizers with at least 60% of alcohol are the most effective in preventing the spread of germs.
- Parents: Supervise young children using hand sanitizer and give the pre-teens a to-go bottle for when they celebrate their festivities.
- Remember to wash your hands: Use soap and water to wash your hands before and after and if possible during festivities. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds or by singing the ABC’s is the most effective way to prevent germs.
Other Halloween Festivities and Ideas
- Decorate and carve pumpkins: Decorate your house for Halloween with many different fun decorations. Carve pumpkins with members or your household and family or with neighbors and friends outside. Get creative and have a contest to see who can make the best pumpkin.
- Visit an orchard, forest, or corn maze: These ideas are festive and outdoors which is perfect for social distancing. Visit an outdoor Halloween-themed Scavenger hunt. Visit a pumpkin patch or an orchard with the family or household members. Go to a corn maze that is one way or a walk through a forest and admire the fall leaves with friends.
- Hide Halloween Treats: Hide candy around the house and have household members go for a treat hunt. Make some friendly competition out of it and see who can collect the most candy.
- Bake Halloween cookies or other treats: Get a fun recipe from Pinterest or the internet and whip up some Halloween inspired goodies for household members and the kids. You can even have the kids help out with baking and allow them to decorate their own Halloween cupcake or other baked good.
- Costume contest: Have an outdoor costume parade with neighbors and friends (socially distant) so that everyone can show off their creative costumes this year.
- Have a movie night: Watch your favorite Halloween movie night with friends and neighbors outside or an indoor movie night with household members. Have Halloween treats and candy to snack on during the movie. Some great Halloween classics are Charlie Brown’s Halloween, Hocus Pocus, Harry Potter, Halloweentown, Ghostbusters, Casper, or a horror movie.
Regardless of how you celebrate Halloween 2020, have a fun and safe holiday! For more information, visit the blog.