Ideas to make trick or treating more COVID safe

According to the CDC, those who could possibly have COVID-19 and those who have been exposed to someone with the disease should not participate in Halloween festivities that are in-person and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

But for those people who have not been exposed and are not sick, there are some options for safer, socially-distant trick or treating.

Candy chutes or slides

These fun contraptions have been lighting up the internet for weeks. The chutes allow the person passing out candy to stand six feet away as they shoot candy at the trick or treater. Kids get a kick out of it, and do-it-yourselfers say they’re easy to make. It can be as simple as adding orange and black crepe paper to a PVC pipe or make it a little more elaborate, like the folks at Wicked Makers did. Their site includes plans you can download to make the creepy skeleton candy slide pictured above.

Consider setting up a card table at the end of your driveway to make for a more socially distant night of trick or treating. iStock

Consider setting up a card table at the end of your driveway to make for a more socially distant night of trick or treating. iStock

Driveway trick or treating

Put up a clean card table at the end of your driveway with candy equally spread out upon it. You don’t want kids reaching into bowls grabbing candy. The little ghosts and goblins aren’t all touching the same candy or getting too close to your home.

Don't use your hands to pass out halloween candy to trick or treaters. Grab your kitchen tongs with freshly washed hands. iStock

Don’t use your hands to pass out halloween candy to trick or treaters. Grab your kitchen tongs with freshly washed hands. iStock

Tongs

If you still like to see the little creatures of the night and want them to come to your door – take out your kitchen tongs and use them to grab candy out of the bowl of candy. Even as you use the tongs, your hands should be washed and you should wear a mask. Keep in mind, it might take a lot of manual dexterity to use tongs to grab a fun-sized Snickers, so to make it easy on yourself, put a few pieces of wrapped candy into a little plastic bag and close it up with a twist tie. Party favor bags from a party supply store work well for this. Not only will each kid get the same amount of candy, it will be easier for you to grab and pass out, keeping the trick or treaters moving along.

The CDC says halloween masks are not made to protect you from COVID-19, but you can decorate your COVID mask to make it more festive. iStock

The CDC says halloween masks are not made to protect you from COVID-19, but you can decorate your COVID mask to make it more festive. iStock

Make your mask festive

The CDC warns Halloween-goers that regular Halloween masks do not provide adequate protection against COVID. However, you can decorate your cloth masks to coordinate with your costume.

If you can find clip on hand sanitizer, buy it and have your child clip it onto their costume. iStock

If you can find clip on hand sanitizer, buy it and have your child clip it onto their costume. iStock

Sanitize often

Moms and dads, consider buying miniature clip-on hand sanitizers, or carry a small bottle yourself, and have the kids use it every so often. Those passing out candy might consider placing a bottle of hand sanitizer on the porch outside their door.

A good rule to follow even without COVID - only pass out and accept wrapped candy. iStock

A good rule to follow even without COVID – only pass out and accept wrapped candy. iStock

Wrap it up

You should absolutely not give out or accept any loose, unwrapped candy or food. This might include candy corn, nuts or chocolates. According to health experts, candy wrappers should not need to be washed when your kids come home, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to do so. If you’re extra nervous and want to wait for any possible virus to die on the surface of the wrapper, consider buying your own stash of candy to let the kids snack on that night, while you let the candy they got from others sit for a few days.

If you must go trick or treating this year, health experts suggest you stay closer to home and stay outdoors. iStock

If you must go trick or treating this year, health experts suggest you stay closer to home and stay outdoors. iStock

Keep it close to home

Some neighborhood groups on Facebook are already sending out surveys to residents about trick or treating asking who plans to take kids out and who plans to give away candy. If you choose to trick or treat, consider only going to homes where you already know the people. That way, you’re more likely to know if there has been any exposure to COVID-19, and if someone happens to get sick after trick or treating, contact tracing will be easier. It’s also best to trick or treat outdoors and not in apartment buildings or dormitories.

The bottom line is, if the proper precautions are taken, outdoor trick or treating can be a safer alternative than other Halloween activities including parties, cramped haunted houses or crowded trunk or treat events. But check out what your local municipality is recommending.

Are your children going out trick or treating this year?

Thank you for voting!

  • Yes

    71%

  • No

    29%

  • Not sure yet

    0%

How will you handle trick or treaters this year?

Thank you for voting!

  • We’ll pass out candy the way we always do

    0%

  • We’ll pass out candy, but will it a little differently because of COVID-19

    0%

  • We’re not passing out candy this year

    0%

CDC HALLOWEEN GUIDELINES

The CDC has outlined low, moderate and high risk options for Halloween 2020. iStock

The CDC has outlined low, moderate and high risk options for Halloween 2020. iStock

Lower risk activities:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, 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

  • 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:

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up 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)

    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.

  • 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

    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 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.

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

  • 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.

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door

  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots

  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors

  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Source Article