You are no doubt wondering how you can help your kids have fun during the Halloween season without it being really scary because of COVID-19. Advice from experts combines common sense with a better understanding of the real risks vs. rumors.
According to the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, as of September 21, 2020, 13,021 children through age 11 (excluding Pasadena and Long Beach) have contracted the novel coronavirus (as it is also known), which is only .05% of the total cases. Another 11,043 of those 12 to 17 have also been infected. So with precautions, even trick-or-treating can take place relatively safely.
It starts with applying the well-known tips from the Centers for Disease Control on preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, as it is also known, to Halloween:
This means for kids:
- Wear a mask, whether they have on a full costume or not (putting an extra cloth one underneath would add another level of protection, though less necessary outdoors). Parents accompanying them should also wear a mask and remind everyone not to reach under theirs to touch their faces.
- Have them go with a group of less than five friends, socially distance, and don’t have conversations up close for more than 10 minutes at a time, with each other or at houses they visit (no one should go out at all if they are sick in any way, of course).
- Don’t share props, like swords or wands, and don’t pass around the goodies.
- Stay outside each door and let the treats be dropped into the bag (viruses only last up to three days on plastic, so they would not be active since the time of manufacture, but this takes care in case a host did not clean her hands before handing them out; if kids unwrapped and eaten on the way without gloves, sanitize hands).
Parents who want to give out treats at their own homes can minimize infection should put the (preferably sugar-free) candy on the doorstep, preferably in separate little bags rather than a bowl, otherwise wear a mask when opening the door.
If you’re still not comfortable with young ones going door-to-door, consider having a virtual costume contest, a socially-distanced hayride, or a party with a small group of masked friends outdoors or in a large, well-ventilated indoor space.
The need for close supervision this season can even be fun for adults, if they dress up and get into the spirit of a Halloween that is spooky, but not frightening.