Halloween originated from several customs, the earliest of which dates back to Ireland in the fifth century B.C. As we know it today, the Oct. 31 celebration is a fun way to dress up in sometimes scary costumes. But experts warn that precautions are needed to ensure that disguises are the only frightening things on All Hallows’ Eve.
As COVID-19 continues to grip the United States, parents need to plan ahead to keep their children safe on Halloween, experts say.
Kids aged 12 and older are eligible for COVID shots, but many haven’t been vaccinated. Those under 12 aren’t yet eligible for vaccination.
“Some families organized a family movie night, held virtual costume parties, or built special candy-delivering chutes to maintain physical distancing last year,” Phoenix pediatrician Dr. Gary Kirkilas says in an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) news release.
“Parents don’t necessarily need to do anything elaborate this year to make Halloween safe, but I would consider building on the successes of last year and staying mindful of keeping activities small and outdoors when possible,” he adds.
Here are some COVID friendly Halloween tips:
Limit your group
Dr. Kirkilas suggests limiting trick-or-treating to small groups and outdoors, where the virus is much less likely to spread. Kids should avoid large groups and gathering near front doors or in driveways.
Handout treats safely
If you’re handing out treats, consider sitting outside and lining up individually prepackaged goodies on a table for children to take. Non-edible treats such as stickers, glow sticks, temporary tattoos and colored pencils are good options for trick-or-treaters with allergies.
Practice social distancing
If you’re taking kids under 12 to a party or community event, make sure they wear face masks and follow physical distancing rules. Masks should cover the