It is October and that means Halloween is right around the corner. We have a few tips to help you make your Halloween safer this year. We are still fighting COVID-19 so please follow the three W’s – Wear a face covering, Wait six feet apart, and Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly. Additionally, we have provided the NCDHHS Interim Guidance for Halloween for you to review and consider when making your Halloween preparations.
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep you and your kiddos safe. We thank the Baltimore Sun for providing this list of tips and tricks.
- Follow the normal tips for your child’s costume but add a cloth face mask. Rubber masks do not stop the spread so layer up a cloth mask underneath.
- Stay in your neighborhood – don’t travel to other neighborhoods. Stay close to home.
- Avoid indoor events and go outside.
- Trick or treat with close friends or family members.
- Avoid big parties – keep it a socially distanced trick-or-treating experience.
- Practice good hand hygiene – carry hand sanitizer with you for use between houses.
- Do not accept unwrapped candy.
For Candy Givers
- Get a flu shot – while it won’t stop COVID-19, it will help deter the Flu.
- Ditch the bowl – create individual baggies of candy for the trick-or-treaters to take and eliminate cross contamination.
- Stay behind the storm door – if you are an especially vulnerable person, let someone else hand out the candy and you enjoy the view behind the glass.
- Sit outside behind a table to hand out candy. Creates a socially distant experience but is safer for everyone.
- Put hand sanitizer out on the table for you and the trick-or-treaters.
- If you prefer not to participate, make sure to turn out your porch lights and post a sign.
Here are few ideas from NCDHHS on how to lower your COVID-19 risk when celebrating Halloween. Consider doing a lower risk activity such as:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them.
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance (more than 6 feet apart), with neighbors or friends.
- Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
- Doing 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 (children should stay within their household groups).
- Having a virtual Halloween costume contest.
- Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
- Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.
Moderate Risk Activities
- Encourage no or low touch trick-or-treating
- Line up individually wrapped goodie bags for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard) o
- If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
- Place individual pieces of candy spaced out on a table for families/children to take themselves.
- Gently toss candy to trick or treaters from 6 feet away
- Use a “candy chute” or tube to pass along candy from the porch to trick or treaters standing 6 feet away
- Reverse trick or treat where children dress in their costumes and stay at their house or front yard house and neighbors walk or drive by to drop off candy
- Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
- Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
- Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
- If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
- Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.