Fitness Facts: Halloween and COVID safety
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Halloween might look a little different this year because of COVID, but here are some tips from Johns Hopkins Hospital to help make it just as memorable while being safe.
Virtual costume contests and other online fun are the safest ways for kids to get together with their friends. Avoid parties, haunted houses and other indoor group activities — especially when screaming is involved. (Screaming is a big part of Halloween, but it projects a lot of respiratory droplets.)
Door-to-door trick-or-treating is riskier since it involves interacting with many people. But if you choose to go ahead with the tradition, ask around in advance and find out who in your neighborhood is planning to participate. Ensure you and your children are physically distancing, wearing masks and practicing hand hygiene.
Keep large groups of kids from crowding around the same door, especially if they’re shouting “trick or treat!” Coach your children: If they encounter candy givers or other neighbors who aren’t wearing masks, wish them “Happy Halloween” and move on.
Giving out candy? Wear your mask, plus gloves, and toss the candy or pre-filled goodie bags on a sanitized table for physically distanced pickup. Look for clever ideas, such as making candy chutes and zip lines, or other fun ways to get candy to trick-or-treaters while maintaining 6 feet distance.
Parents don’t need to wash or sterilize candy wrappers; hand hygiene is more important. Remind children that they can dive into their tasty treasures only after returning home and thoroughly washing their hands.
If your child’s costume includes a mask, save it for later since costume masks may not prevent spreading the coronavirus. Substitute a coronavirus-approved mask, decorated to match the theme of your child’s costume.
Alternatives to trick-or-treating still can be fun:
How about a spooky scavenger hunt in your yard? Tuck away treats for your children to find, give them flashlights and let the adventure begin. If you include others from outside your household, make sure everyone wears COVID-appropriate masks and stays at least 6 feet apart.
Carving pumpkins, decorating masks, watching movies and sharing funny, scary stories around the fireplace or outdoor firepit with family members can make memories to cherish.
Take plenty of pictures. This Halloween might be a little different as you take precautions such as mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding crowds. But even while you are staying safe, you and your children still can have great times to look back on years from now.