How to Trick-or-Treat Safely During COVID-19: Tips From a Pediatrician This Halloween

Costumes, community, fresh air – there are lots of reasons to love trick-or-treating at Halloween.

But during the coronavirus pandemic, traditional trick-or-treating is considered a higher risk activity because of the typically large groups of children, and potential for face-to-face and high-touch moments (like grabbing candy). This may be a good year to skip trick-or-treating altogether, and start some new Halloween traditions.

If your family does decide to trick-or-treat, you’ll have to do things differently to keep everyone safe. Connecticut Children’s infectious disease pediatrician Melissa Held, MD, shares quick tips.

Woman and child wearing face masks; child is wearing a firefighter costume and holding a plastic bucket while preparing to go trick-or-treating

If your family chooses to trick-or-treat during COVID-19, plan ahead to be safe.

  1. Wear a mask (and not just the costume kind). Keep in mind that most costume masks alone aren’t effective at stopping the spread of germs. So make sure your child wears at least a two-ply face mask, and check that they can breathe comfortably if they are also going to use a costume mask. A better way to go – a Halloween-themed two-ply face mask!
  2. Limit the group size. Keep your child’s trick-or-treating group to just siblings or a close friend or two.
  3. Limit the houses you visit. To limit unnecessary exposure to others, just go to a few homes on your street, or to visit just a few friends you know well.
  4. Social distance. Leave lots of space between any other trick-or-treaters.
  5. Plan ahead to avoid contact. Neighbors should wear masks and gloves and stay outside their front door or at the end of their driveway or yard, so kids don’t have to touch door surfaces. Instead of having kids reach into a communal candy bowl, they should use gloves to hand out individual bags to each child and set up a one-way route to avoid crowding.
  6. Take precautions while prepping goody bags. If you are the one preparing goody bags, wash your hands to soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after prepping bags.
  7. Practice good hand hygiene. Remember to have kids use hand sanitizer in between homes to further reduce risk.
  8. Stay home if you might be sick. If any of your family members are feeling sick or think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, please stay home and quarantine!

Have you considered alternatives?

There are lots of safe, creative ways to make Halloween a fun day this year, even without trick-or-treating. Here are 14 Ways to Have a Safe Halloween During COVID-19, Even in Quarantine.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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