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Halloween 2020: A Parent’s Guide

Published on Oct. 28, 2020

Halloween during COVID-19 coronavirus 2020 Munson Healthcare Kids October

The truly scary thing about Halloween this year is that it's occurring during a pandemic, but there are safe ways to celebrate, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says.

Suggestions include: virtual costume parties; physically distant, outdoor costume parades; Halloween-themed craft making; movie nights at home; decorating pumpkins; and making favorite treats. 

"Many kids look forward to Halloween all year, and it's typical to feel some disappointment as we see how the pandemic has affected our milestone events," said Christine Nefcy, MD, FAAP Chief Medical Officer at Munson Healthcare

"But we can be flexible and creative, and model this for our kids, too. Halloween is not always the same," she noted. "If parents model a positive and creative spirit this year, children are more likely to pick up on those emotional cues."

Stay the Course While CelebratingMunson Healthcare COVID-19 Coronavirus Halloween Kids October 2020

This Halloween, experts recommend that children and adults avoid large gatherings, maintain a distance of 6-feet from others, wear cloth face coverings, and wash hands often.

While meeting outdoors is safer than indoors, it's still important to follow safety precautions.

Some communities may discourage trick-or-treating this year. If it does take place in yours, avoid groups or clustering at doorsteps or at any other place.

Continue Practicing Healthy Habits

Residents who plan to hand out treats should wear a cloth face covering, and consider sitting outdoors and handing out individually prepacked treat bags, the AAP suggested in a news release. Local public health officials also recommend using duct tape to mark 6 foot lines in front of your home and leading to driveway/front door and position a distribution table between yourself and trick or treaters. Do not hand out candy or participate in other Halloween activities if you are sick. Spread hope Halloween 2020 parent guide

If your child goes trick or treating, consider doing so with people you live with. Otherwise, only visit homes with safety precautions in place and participate in one-way trick-or-treating, guiding children to stay to the right to maintain physical distancing.

It's also important to practice good hand hygiene -- such as washing hands or using hand sanitizer -- before and after trick-or-treating.

"This is a good time to teach children the importance of protecting not just ourselves, but each other," Nefcy said. "The decisions we make on this one day can have a ripple effect on our family members. We can find safe ways to celebrate and create magical memories."