Happy Quarantine! Er, Halloween.
There is no denying that the holidays will look different this year. With the spread of the Coronavirus, Halloween safety and our regular traditions are being questioned—are they safe?
The CDC advises against high-risk activities like trick-or-treating and crowded parties, and for kids (and probably a good number of adults), that’s hard to hear. That’s not to say Halloween is canceled! There are plenty of ways to celebrate spook-tacularly while staying safe.
COVID-Friendly Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating
Carving pumpkins is a classic Halloween tradition. If you’re with friends or family outside your immediate household, set up properly-distanced carving stations outside.
Pumpkin carving-related accidents are the most common Halloween injuries. Use tools made specifically for carving, as they’re safer than standard kitchen knives, and carve in a well-lit area with ample space.
For young children, consider skipping the carving tools, and pick up some non-toxic paints instead.
Quarantine has left many people feeling isolated, but in the digital age, there are simple ways to connect with your communities online. Use Skype or Zoom to host a virtual neighborhood costume contest for the kids, or use the Netflix Party app to stream scary movies with your friends!
Encourage your kids to go big on homemade Halloween decorations to show off both inside and outside your house. Alternatively, help them whip up some tasty Halloween treats—they’ll have a blast decorating Halloween shape cookies.
Always watch children when using craft materials like scissors, and even if you’re supervising, talk to your kids about basic kitchen safety.
Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Skipping trick-or-treating doesn’t mean your kids have to forgo the thrill of collecting candy. Plan a candy hunt by hiding goodies around your yard, or send them on a Halloween scavenger hunt around the neighborhood with treats as the prize.
Either way, make sure there’s plenty of light, whether that means providing flashlights for the kids or turning on your outdoor lights. If you head onto the streets for a scavenger hunt, watch for cars, and wear a mask in case you pass close to other groups.
The CDC lists traditional, door-to-door trick-or-treating as one of the most high-risk Halloween activities. With passing treats to kids, reaching into candy bowls, and greeting people at the door, the chance of transmitting the virus is high. Even with proper masking, hand-sanitizing, and gloves, the risk will never be zero.
If you’re determined to trick-or-treat, we have several suggestions to keep you, your children, and your neighbors as safe as possible.
This method of trick-or-treating involves individually-wrapped candy bags placed at the end of your driveway or yard. If you are the one preparing candy bags, follow the CDC guidelines for washing your hands, and consider wearing gloves and a mask while you wrap them.
Mask Up and Keep Your Distance
Masks and social distancing remain the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. Costume masks don’t cut it, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise the theme. Keep your trick-or-treating group small and contained to members of your household.
To stay on top of your Halloween safety, check your county’s risk levels, and monitor how both you and your children are feeling. We wish you a safe, spooky, and healthy Halloween!