Tricks for Celebrating Halloween Safely During Pandemic

October 07, 2020
Child and mother decorating Halloween pumpkins


Like most holidays that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween will look different this year. But with appropriate precautions and a little creativity, you can still make it a night of spooky fun for your little ghouls and goblins.

“This year has been filled with more than its share of cancellations, but Halloween doesn’t have to be one of them,” said St. Joseph’s Children’s Wellness and Specialty Specialist Michelle Sterling. “By following recommended safety guidelines, your family can still enjoy some of your favorite Halloween traditions and maybe even create a few new ones.”

Sterling offers the following tricks for keeping Halloween a treat for your family during the pandemic:

  • Go all out with the Halloween decorations. Keep it budget-friendly by having your kids help create decorations to hang from windows, trees, mailbox, etc. You could even turn one of your bedrooms into a kid-friendly haunted house.

  • Decorate doors inside your house and let your little ones go trick-or-treating indoors. Get the whole family involved with mom or dad behind one door, an older sibling behind another and grandparents behind yet another door.
  • Set up a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt in and around your house. Provide clues and leave treats along the route.

  • Turn up your spooky Halloween music and have a dance party with your children. Organize a virtual Halloween party and let your family and friends show off their best dance moves.

  • Set up a projector in the back yard and watch your favorite Halloween movies.

  • If you plan to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home, instead of handing out candy at your door consider arranging individual treat bags on a table in your driveway or near front door for a contact-less handoff.

Updated safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discourage families from taking part in traditional trick-or-treating.

If you choose to take your child trick-or-treating, Sterling recommends these important safety guidelines: 

  • Be sure to wear a mask when around people who are not part of your household. Halloween costume masks are not a substitute for a cloth mask unless it is made of two or more layers of fabric and fits snugly around your mouth and nose. Wearing a costume mask over a protective cloth mask can make it difficult to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

  • Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from people you don’t live with.

  • Apply hand sanitizer frequently while trick-or-treating.

  • Avoid eating candy until after you return home and can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

  • Be sure to also follow regular Halloween safety tips.

“Pedestrian safety tops the Halloween hazard list. It is important for parents and caregivers to remind their trick-or-treaters about walking safely and sharing the road with drivers before they leave their house,” said Sterling. “This includes only crossing street at corners and using traffic signals and crosswalks, looking left, right and left again when crossing, and putting electronic devices down and keeping heads up.”

To be sure kids can easily be seen by drivers, Sterling suggests they wear costumes with light or bright colors, carry flashlights or glow sticks, use reflective trick-or-treat bags or have reflective tape on their costumes.

“Typically, children under age 12 should not trick-or-treat without adult supervision,” she adds. “If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without supervision, make sure they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.”

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