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Halloween II: Tricks and treats and COVID-19

Halloween is fast approaching, and it’s a fun and festive time of year for many families. While we are still dealing with COVID-19, with a few considerations, Halloween can still be enjoyable for both parents and kids.

Can kids go trick or treating this year? 

Yes! Last year, it was disappointing to recommend against trick or treating but with more and more people able to protect themselves and those around them with the COVID-19 vaccines, we are making progress in the fight against COVID-19. So yes, kids can go trick or treating this year with a few safety measures in place. It’s really important to take some precautions to keep everyone safe.

Tips for trick or treaters

  • Wear a mask. Have fun with it! Make it part of the costume.

  • Wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer if you’re out and about).

  • Keep your distance.

Tips for those passing out treats

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.

  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.

  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take

  • Wash hands before handling treats.

  • Wear a mask.

For more information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put together a great document outlining safer holiday celebrations this year.

Whether you’re celebrating Halloween with a COVID-19-safe version of trick or treating, or taking a family walk to see the neighbor’s decorations, our colleagues at Safe Kids Wisconsin put together tips to help keep you safe. You can read all of their tips in this blog post, but here are a few highlights: 

  • For little superheroes, capes should fasten with Velcro® that easily pulls apart. Capes and other costume pieces should never be tied around a child’s neck. It is also important that younger children know the difference between what people do on television or movies and what they can do in real life. Keep costumes short and use caution with accessories so they don’t become tripping hazards.

  • Hard candy is a choking hazard for children 5 years of age or younger. Consider giving trick or treaters age-appropriate, non-food treats like temporary tattoos or stickers instead.

  • Illuminate carved pumpkins and Halloween decorations with battery operated candles, flashlights or glow sticks rather than lit candles to prevent fire.

  • Be safe and be seen! Walk with a flashlight at night and use reflective tape on costumes. Walk with an adult and use your safe pedestrian skills. 

Other ways to safely celebrate Halloween

If you’re not sure about venturing out in search of candy and treats, there are many ways to celebrate Halloween that doesn’t have to include trick or treating. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Decorate where you live.

  • Bake Halloween-themed treats.

  • Watch Halloween-themed movies with your family or friends with whom you feel comfortable with their safety precautions. 

  • Leave Halloween treats outside the door where friends and loved ones live.

  • Visit a drive-through haunted house experience.

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household.

  • Do a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.

  • Have a scavenger hunt style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.

  • How could we forget the classic? Gather your family safely around a fire outside to tell ghost stories. 

Lastly, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services also recommends you get your flu vaccine before Halloween to keep everyone healthier overall this season. Read more in this blog post about why getting the flu vaccination is even more important with COVID-19. 

Accidents still happen and all of these considerations may lead to questions. Should anything come up related to your child’s health, please do not hesitate to call your child’s doctor’s office. If they don’t have a doctor, visit or call 2-1-1, where an operator can direct you to the nearest community health clinic or other needed resources.