Some parents are concerned about the increased risk of catching COVID while out trick-or-treating, while other parents don’t want their children to miss out on yet another event in 2020.
Here’s what you should consider when making your decision about this Halloween.
Is Trick-Or-Treating Extra Risky?
The CDC released guidelines for trick-or-treating in light of COVID. While they still recommend the usual precautions — wearing a mask, social distancing, staying with your family unit, and using hand sanitizer frequently — the CDC seems confident that trick-or-treating can be done without a significantly greater risk of catching COVID-19.
But remember, a costume mask is not a sufficient replacement for a cloth or medical mask.
Ways To Minimize the Risk
There are ways to minimize the risk of spreading germs, while still participating in the fun:
You can pass out candy outside, instead of people ringing your doorbell.
One person can hand out the candy, putting it directly into the trick-or-treaters bag, so multiple hands aren’t going into the same candy bowl.
You can make single-serving bags of candy and leave them outside for people to take their own.
Sanitize your and your kids’ hands frequently.
Remind your children to not touch their faces, to leave their masks on, and to wait to eat their candy at home.
Avoid groups gathering at front doors.
Should I Worry about Germs on the Candy Itself?
One study did find that the COVID-19 virus germs can survive up to 72 hours on plastic surfaces. But this discovery was made in a lab, and they weren’t testing with Halloween candy wrappers, so the results aren’t 100% applicable to candy.
Wash your hands after unwrapping the candy and before you eat it.
Dr. Sanda Kesh, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and the deputy medical director at New York's Westmed Medical Group, doesn’t think that disinfecting each piece of candy is necessary. If you’re concerned about it, you can put away the Halloween candy for three days to “naturally allow any potentially infectious surface germs to die off.” Otherwise, just wash your hands after unwrapping the candy and before you eat it.
If You Don’t Want To Go Out, What Are Some Other Options?
Choosing not to trick-or-treat doesn’t mean you have to stay home and be bored. There are plenty of fun ways to celebrate the day:
Put your costumes on and make Halloween-themed food for your own family party. There are tons of spooky dinner ideas and even more for dessert. And if you need inspiration for your costume, Mom, we’ve got you covered.
Buy your favorite candies and watch a classic scary movie. No need to trade for the good stuff when it’s all good. Plus, you can stream your favorite family-friendly, scary movie; check out what’s available on the major platforms here.
Have a candy treasure hunt in the house. Like an Easter egg hunt, minus the eggs.
Organize a trunk-or-treat with family or friends. You can create a controlled trick-or-treat setting for your children and avoid exposing them to strangers.
Deciding whether to trick-or-treat or not is completely up to your comfort level as a parent. But whether you go out or stay in, make the most of Halloween. It only comes once a year!
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