Kids and even adults look forward to Halloween every year. Everybody loves a good scare and the sweet treats, which is why it's one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States and around the globe. While traditionally observed with trick-or-treating, costume parades, and haunted houses, there is an expected shift in the way we celebrate Halloween due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the new normal, we don’t have to cancel Halloween completely! In this blog, we’ll share with you some of the best Halloween safety tips to minimize health risks while keeping the family happy this spooky season.
6 Halloween Safety Tips for a Fun (and Healthy) Holiday
1. Wear a Face Mask and Practice Social Distancing
We've all heard this countless times. Research has found that wearing a face mask indeed reduces the spread of COVID-19. That, combined with keeping your distance, are the most basic safety precautions we can take to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Get creative with the mask and incorporate it as part of the costume! Add a creepy face, vampire fangs, or a big smile to it.
If you or your kids are going to spend Halloween around other people, maintain social distancing and keep the gatherings small. It's also recommended to keep the celebrations outdoors to make it easier to keep some distance between you.
2. Put a Spin on Traditional Trick-or-Treating
Trick-or-treating typically involves face-to-face contact with multiple people — and even skin-to-skin contact when passing out candy. However, as soon as the pandemic hit, this became a major concern. Trick-or-treating is a really easy way for germs to spread — fast. For this reason, some have come up with creative solutions to minimize contact as much as possible.
If you're handing out candy, this could mean facilitating one-way trick-or-treating by creating candy chutes, where you slide the goodies down to the kids. Or, you might consider packing candy inside individual goodie bags and leaving them on your driveway. Another idea is to have a candy table where the treats are already laid out for the kids to take. These approaches are much safer compared to the usual practice of answering the door with a huge bowl of assorted candy that everyone will grab from. You'll share fewer germs and will also be able to keep your distance.
If you're going out to collect candy, avoid touching doorbells with your hands. Or, wear gloves that you can throw out at the end of the night.
3. Sanitize Every Piece of Candy
We know, we know. This sounds like a massive pain. But hear us out.
Everyone knows how the COVID-19 virus spreads: through droplets from an infected individual. We know it can be tedious and time-consuming, but consider sanitizing every individually wrapped piece of candy before letting your kid gobble it all up. If any pieces look damaged or the wrapping is partially open, discard it.
You should also encourage your children to wash their hands before and after handling their goodies. Basic hygiene is going to be one of their strongest allies.
4. Celebrate Halloween at Home
Nothing is much safer than celebrating Halloween without leaving your home. You can prepare an at-home event like a candy scavenger hunt, which is even more perfect if you have a bigger yard where you have more places to hide goodie bags of candies (although you can keep it indoors and still make it exciting).
If your family wants to celebrate with a costume party, pumpkin carving, and other Halloween activities with your friends from another household, you can try to do it via Zoom or other video conferencing apps. Remember that there are plenty of ways to have fun at home! Think of a cookie baking contest, scary movie night, ghost stories, and making s'mores.
5. Involve Your Kids in the Planning
This has undoubtedly been a stressful time for parents. And all the adjustments you need to make to navigate the new normal are just as difficult for your kids. In fact, there's a good chance that this is all more difficult for them since they can't understand like we can.
Keeping this in mind, if you're considering opting for unconventional methods of celebrating Halloween to keep everyone safe, it's important to speak with your kids and involve them in the planning. Helping them understand what the expectations are and allowing them to choose the activities they want to take part in will help them feel like they they're a part of the process. It can minimize the feeling of helplessness and remind them that they aren't alone in this.
6. Have Alternative Plans Ready
We know how unpredictable these times can get. Government restrictions may change and COVID-19 cases may increase, affecting your Halloween celebrations. So, prepare your Plan B and make sure that your children are also aware that the initial plan may change if it's unsafe.
If you have a young one who is at an age where changes may be more difficult to accept, opt for a fun at-home activity from the start to avoid ending up in a sticky situation.
Even if we're still in the midst of the pandemic and grappling to adapt to the new normal, Halloween can still be one of the most exciting holidays of the year for your family. With the Halloween safety tips we've outlined in this blog, plus a little extra creativity, you can keep everyone engaged and protected at the same time.
We hope that you have a wonderful — and safe — Halloween!