For many people, it is an understatement that the COVID-19 pandemic has been life-changing. We still want to engage in yearly traditions like trick or treating this Halloween. A recent Harris Poll suggests that more than 70% of millennial mothers are considering making “the most” of Halloween 2020, while 80% of the mothers questioned expressed plans to trick-or-treat this Halloween.
Unfortunately, new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dissuade people in the United States from trick-or-treating because the practice is one of the riskiest traditions considering the current pandemic. One of the most substantial risks associated with trick-or-treating during the pandemic is that the activity places individuals in prolonged contact with people who live outside of their home. As a result, to maximize safety, you might consider how you participate in Halloween activities to reflect the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations.
Halloween Safety Tips in 2020
When compared to other Halloween traditions like house parties or school dances, trick-or-treating is less dangerous for parents and children when it comes to COVID-19. Trick-or-treating, however, is not entirely risk-free, and you must consider whether the activity is worth facing its associated risk factors. In locations where there is an ongoing spread of the virus, it is a good idea to refrain from trick-or-treating. In areas where the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community is lower, it might be safe enough to go trick-or-treating.
The biggest risk in trick-or-treating is not the candy. Scientists currently believe that surface bacteria is not the primary mode of COVID-19 transmission. Instead, the substantial danger presented by trick-or-treating is how candy is distributed. Some of the best ways that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to reduce the virus transmission include limiting activities to your residence or even controlled neighborhood walks.
The biggest risks associated with trick-or-treating is close contact with other people, which is defined as being within six feet or people for more than 15 minutes. This means that trick-or-treating with a big group of people presents a substantial risk of transmission. While the face-to-face exposure that occurs when trick-or-treaters are greeted at someone’s door is less dangerous, it is important to understand that the more households a person visits, the greater the possibility for the transmission of COVID-19. Parents should caution their children not to rub their eyes, noses, or mouths while trick-or-treating. Parents should also remember to routinely sanitize or wash their children’s hands while trick-or-treating.
Trick-or-Treating With Friends
Throwing parties this Halloween season is most likely unsafe. Trick-or-treating with friends is also not particularly safe. Instead, if you decide to go trick-or-treating outside your home, it is a much better idea to remain in a small group. This means that you should limit trick-or-treating groups to three or four people at most. If you have at-risk family members at home, it is likely a good idea to refrain from trick-or-treating this year.
If you go trick-or-treating, you should remember to wear a mask regardless of who accompanies you. Fortunately, because Halloween costumes often involve masks, it will likely be easy to incorporate masks into your child’s costume. Parents should also remember to wear masks, too. There are also some other safety strategies that you should implement while trick-or-treating, which include:
- Avoid sharing things like Halloween costume props with other children.
- Create ground rules for your child. For example, your child should agree to only touch one piece of candy. You should also make sure that your child remains a good distance away from people who do not live in your house.
- Get the child in the habit of not touching his or her face.
- Take hand sanitizer with you when you go trick-or-treating.
Deciding Whether to Answer the Door for Trick-or-Treaters
You are not unreasonable for skipping giving out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, particularly if someone in your house is at risk for the more serious symptoms associated with COVID-19. If you do decide to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, you should make sure to wear a face-covering over your nose and mouth while passing out candy. It is also good practice to wash your hands routinely throughout the night to decrease the risk of bringing germs back into your home. To further maximize your safety, you should disinfect commonly high-touch areas like doorknobs and doorbells.
Are Candy Bowls Safe This Halloween?
Even if you understand that it is best to keep your distance from others, you might still be uncertain about how to most safely hand out candy. Halloween bowls are still acceptable. If you are at greater risk for the most serious coronavirus symptoms or live in an area with a large number of cases, a candy bowl is a good option. Some people even might decide to place candy in separate bags that visitors can take, which further reduces the risk of transmission.
Deciding Whether to Disinfect Your Child’s Candy
Medical professionals believe that COVID-19 is not transmitted through surfaces or wrappers. As a result, it is relatively safe for children to eat the candy that they collect while trick-or-treating. As a parent, however, you are likely still worried about the danger that something might be infected. To further reduce the risk of transmission, it is a good idea to instruct your child to avoid eating candy until you get home and to make sure that the child washes their hands first. Even though the coronavirus can last on some surfaces for up to 72 hours, disinfecting candy is likely extreme. Instead, you can gradually allow any potential germs on the candy die off before the child can touch it.
Advice from Our Knowledgeable Accident Attorneys
With a little bit of extra caution, Halloween can still be a fun and safe experience for your family. As a final reminder, keep your mask on, follow social distance rules and look both ways when crossing the street. We hope these safety tips keep you and your children safe this halloween!