How to Celebrate Halloween Safely During a Pandemic
Because the situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, some information may not be up to date. Stay informed by following information from your local officials and by visiting the CDC website.
Like most activities and holidays in 2020, Halloween might look a little different this year. According to the CDC, door-to-door trick-or-treating where candy is passed out to children is considered a high-risk activity. However, there are still a variety of fun ways to enjoy the spooky holiday safely. Here are three of our favorite low-risk activities outlined by the CDC.
Decorating Pumpkins with Members of Your Household
Have someone from the household go out and pick up a few pumpkins from your local pumpkin patch or a grocery store. Get creative and use whatever you can find to decorate your pumpkins. You could also host a virtual pumpkin decorating contest with your friends and family.
When carving pumpkins with small children, we recommend the parent do the carving and use small, controlled motions. If the child wants to be involved, try a different method of decorating, like using non-toxic paint or markers.
Do a Halloween Scavenger Hunt Around Your Neighborhood
Parents can create a list of Halloween-themed items or decorations that can be found around the neighborhood for kids to search for while going on a walk outdoors. Make it a competition between the kids or do children versus parents to see who can find the most items.
Have a Halloween Movie Night with Household Members
This genre includes a variety of films that suit those of all ages. Some of the top-rated children’s Halloween movies include Hotel Transylvania, Coraline, and Halloweentown, while Ghostbusters and Scream are a couple of classics for adults.
How to Have a More Traditional Halloween During COVID-19
“I would avoid indoor events or even trunk or treat events where crowds are clustered. Stick to open neighborhoods where kids can stay clustered by family groupings,” said Dr. Neal Spears, a pediatrician in College Station.
This is also the year to explore more creative methods of passing out treats. Check out these ideas:
- Putting candy in glow-in-the-dark Halloween eggs (they are available on Amazon) and spreading them out in your yard for each trick-or-treater to pick up
- Setting up a table in your yard and using an extra-long spoon that can drop the candy in trick-or-treaters’ baskets
- Making a spider web on your house that has candy stuck to it that kids can grab
Dr. Spears also encourages everyone to have hand sanitizer available to those stopping by to trick-or-treat.
Remember, if you feel sick or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters. If you are experiencing COVID-related symptoms, reach out to a St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network pediatrician or primary care physician for diagnosis and treatment.