Choosing wild costumes, getting treats, and decorating pumpkins are what most kids look forward to each Halloween. And while the pandemic has been threatening to overshadow these activities, there are still many ways families can enjoy the holiday and stay safe.
Safety Tips for Your Family and Kids
First, keep maintaining the basic Covid-19 safety guidelines. That is, wash hands often, avoid large gatherings, wear face masks, and keep a social distance.
Next, understand the prevailing state of the pandemic in your country and community. Michelle Barron, MD, medical director for infection prevention and control at UCHealth in Aurora, says, “Just like we check the weather on Halloween to see what precautions and extra gear might be needed, knowing the current state of COVID-19 in your community will be important in determining if it is safe or not.”
For instance, in Michigan, there are over 134 000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 7,044 deaths. A reason why the Hallowe’en in Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village is doing it differently this year. It will only offer strolls and train rides but will skip family-friendly events such as is annual dining.
Plan in advance to lower the risks associated with most Halloween activities. If you want to go trick-or-treating outdoors, limit your invitations and explain to your kids the reason for a small group.
Prepare to go through lots of sanitizers, practice to keep your hands off your face, and strive to curate your face masks into your kids’ Halloween costumes – as that will have them wear their masks for longer.
Follow the guidelines provided on how to celebrate Halloween this year.
Dr. Michelle insists, “Follow the current rules and guidance being given at the state and local level, and do a risk/benefit analysis based on the health of the individuals engaging in Halloween activities and those who live in the household and decide if the risk of getting potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 is worth the bag of treats.”
Get creative. Video chats with family and friends for a virtual costume party and play games. Hold virtual costume parades. While at it, do not substitute a face mask for a costume mask, unless the latter covers the nose and mouth snugly and has multiple layers of breathable material.
Be mindful of the paint used on your family and kids’ costume – as some paints contain toxins that could be harmful, if not fatal.
Celebrate by watching a kid-friendly movie where each member of your household will then wear costumes inspired by their favorite character from the film.
Instead of buying treats, make fun Halloween goodies at home. For instance, you can decorate pizza with toppings in your desired wild shapes. Ensure that the homemade treats are not choking hazards, especially with kids under age 3.
Join community activities focused on safe ways to celebrate the holiday. Attend programs offered by a zoo, arboretum, park district, or other outdoor venues in your community. Be sure to steer clear of crowds while maintaining a safe social distance.
When going outdoors, mark your kids’ costumes with reflective gear to increase their visibility to motorists during the fall weather. And while at it, caution them to be careful around vehicles. Ensure their shoes and costumes fit well to avoid tripping. It would be best if you settled for an inflammable outfit too.
When allowing your kids to join Halloween competitions, follow Dr. Kesh’s ( an expert in infectious diseases) guideline. She says, “I wouldn’t have a big pack of 10 kids from school going out together; I would limit it to 3 or 4 kids at most and choose those who you know have also been practicing social distancing.”
Avoid crowded indoor events like, well, the plague. Always keep your door and window open while hosting an indoor charter to ensure continuous air circulation.
Better yet, swap that visit to a haunted house for a visit to a local haunted corn maze or forest. And as the CDC advises, “Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.”