Similar to all holidays and events this year, Halloween trick–or-treat 2020 will be different during the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, celebrating Halloween this year can be a great way to let go of the lockdown blues, yet at the same time pose a threat of the virus spreading. With both children and adults looking forward to going trick–or–treat, a lot of concerns arise about the safety of this holiday tradition.
The typical Halloween activities can be reckless to indulge in, such as school dances and house parties. Putting yourself or your kids in a crowded area can increase the probability of getting COVID, which is the last thing you want. Though most people will not be hosting these events, even if you get invited, turn them down politely. Whether you live in a rural or suburban area with few coronavirus cases, the biggest threat will be trick–or–treating in neighborhood streets.
Unfortunately, the biggest threat this year is not going to be the cavities your kids get due to eating too much candy, but the transmission of COVID-19 that can happen from kid to kid.
Collecting candy door to door increases your child’s probability of interacting with a carrier of the virus. This also raises the chance of kids rubbing their eyes or nose with contaminated hands. Individuals may be asymptomatic and not be aware of it, which is quite dangerous to be exposed to, especially since children are vulnerable and do not have the strongest immune system.
If you are a worried parent who is concerned about their child’s safety when trick–or–treating, we have some tips for you. Stay put to discover ways to enjoy Halloween 2020 to the fullest while taking precautionary measures.
Is it Safe to Go Trick–or–Treating in 2020?
This year skip the Halloween party, do not attend any house parties, nor host them at your home. Being surrounded by crowds of people increases the chances of transmission.
The big question on everyone’s mind is, is it safe to trick-or-treat? Trick–or–treating is only safe in areas where there is a low spread of coronavirus cases. Children should only go trick–or–treating in small groups and even then practise social distancing as much as possible. Instead of keeping groups of 10 or more, this year stick to small groups of 3 or 4 kids, whom you know have been practicing social distancing guidelines.
Since kids will be meeting their friends, they will be excited and might forget to follow guidelines every now and then. Therefore, it would be best if you and your partner chaperone the kids around the neighbourhood this Halloween.
Follow Guidelines for COVID 19
If a mask and gloves are not part of your little one’s Halloween 2020 costume, make it mandatory for them to wear these protective essentials. Ensure they carry a hand sanitizer at all times and use it frequently too when outdoors. Especially before and after eating candy and removing the mask. When allowed to choose a candy from the candy bowl presented by neighbours, instruct your kid to only pick the piece they touch. This helps lower the chances of transmission to other children.
Sanitize Candy Bags
Individuals sanitize products bought from the supermarket especially in areas where there is a high risk of coronavirus transmission. However, these days the spread of cases has come under control in Canada, and this practise has relaxed. Nonetheless, it is important to remember the virus can last up to 72 hours on plastic surfaces. If your kid is particularly vulnerable or you feel a need to sanitize products, go ahead and sanitize all the candy bar wrappers. If this process seems over the top and tedious, you can store away candy in the kitchen closet for three days to ensure it is germ-free by the time your kid comes into contact with it.
Guidelines for Halloween Candy Distribution
This year being Grinch might be in your favour as the coronavirus requires you to maintain social distance. Although, not keeping any treats might make you susceptible to a trick you probably would not appreciate. Instead, follow coronavirus guidelines while handing out treats. Make sure you wear a mask and gloves. Keep interactions with trick–or–treaters to a minimum.
Remember it is important to wash hands frequently after giving out candy to ensure you do not bring any uninvited visitors indoors, such as germs and viruses. To limit the presence of individuals in your home, make sure you distribute candy on the front porch or front yard. Once all the candy has finished and trick–or–treaters have retrieved back home, be sure to disinfect the doorbell, doorknob, or door handle.
In case you live in a high transmission area, you can keep a candy bowl outside the house. Or you can place candy in Halloween themed goodie bags and leave them on the front door for children to collect.
Don’t Share Anything with Anyone
Make sure to lay down a few ground rules for your kids to follow. Children enjoy trying on each other’s costume props, such as wings, tiaras, devil horns, swords, and plastic guns. Be sure your child keeps their belongings and does not let other kids play with them. This may seem harsh, but it is for the greater good. Let them carry their own candy bags as well, or hold it for them. Every time they are in the mood to rip open a candy bar and start munching, be sure they sanitize first using a 70% ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer and practise proper social distancing before removing their mask.
Though Halloween will require you and your kids to take extra precautionary measures, do not forget to have fun in the process. Take it easy, dress up as your favourite characters, and enjoy this candy-filled holiday to the fullest.
If you or your child are vulnerable to getting ill, stay at home, and make the most of it by watching scary movies and cartoons. Enjoy Halloween 2020 at home by baking creepy ghost-shaped cookies and decorate the house accordingly, so they do not feel they are missing out on the fun. You can also play scavenger hunt and hide novelty Halloween candy in little nooks around the house, have Halloween themed dinner with your family, and take pictures for keepsake.