Cincinnati Children's Blog

Halloween During COVID-19: Advice from the Expert

Halloween During COVID-19: Advice from the Expert

Many communities have given the go-ahead for trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods, but we know parents likely still have questions about Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you’re thinking through your comfort level and making plans for Halloween, here are some of the most common question I’m getting and my answers:

Should I hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, leave it in a bowl out front or just opt-out this year?

There is no need to opt-out of handing out candy, unless you just don’t want to participate this year.

To hand out candy safely, I suggest you wear a mask and   hand it out to the kids, rather than having dozens of kids stick their hands in a large bowl of candy. When you give the candy, just drop it in the child’s bag instead of trying to hand it to them, that way it’s a no-contact interaction.

Is it safe for my kids to go out in our neighborhood for trick-or-treat?

With a few precautions and reminders, listed below, I believe kids can safely trick-or-treat. I recommend sticking close to home if possible so your kids can come home if they aren’t comfortable with the actions of others.

 If you usually travel in large groups to other neighborhoods for trick-or-treat, please try to avoid riding in crowded vehicles and try a different neighborhood if the one you usually visit is too packed for proper social distancing.

What rules would you set for your child before they head out to trick-or-treat?

I would tell your children to do three specific things:

  1. Have the person handing out candy to put it right in their bag.
  2. Ask them to stay as separated as they are at school.
  3. Tell them to wait to eat the candy until they get home.

Should your child wear a mask over or under his or her Halloween mask?

Kids need to wear something that covers their nose and mouth. If their Halloween mask does that, I don’t think they need to double mask. If their costume does not include a mask, please add one to their ensemble before they head out.

Should I let my child trick-or-treat with friends?

Yes, that’s one of the best parts. I would ask that they remember social distancing, although I am sure that will be difficult for kids when they are out having fun. Please make sure all the kids in the group are properly masked before they head out.

Should I wash wrapped candy collected by my child?

No. Remember, the virus does not live long on surfaces. If you want to be really safe, you can ask your kids to give you the candy and you put it away until the next day. By then, even if there were virus on the wrapper, it should be very weakened or dead. This is not an excuse for YOU to eat all of your child’s candy!

Should I let my child go to a Halloween party?

Yes, as long as there aren’t any more than 10 people gathered, people don’t come if they’re sick, maintain social distancing, and have on a mask.  Outside parties are a bonus if you live somewhere that it’s still warm. This is going to make for a less than normal party, but I think the kids can still have fun!

Please also remember to review the Halloween safety tips that are important every year: https://blog.cincinnatichildrens.org/safety-and-prevention/make-safety-a-priority-on-halloween

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