Celebrate a COVID Safe Halloween
Halloween is traditionally a fun night for children across the U.S., but the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has left parents wondering if they should celebrate this year, and if so, how to celebrate safely. Pediatricians from Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health offer tips to celebrate a COVID Safe Halloween.
“It’s important to create as much normalcy for children as possible, while also taking steps to protect them from COVID-19. We encourage people to follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and get creative in order to celebrate safely,” said Edward Clark, MD, Medical Director of BKO.
Pediatricians from BKO recommend the following tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19 this Halloween:
- Trick-or-treat with those in your household and stay at least six feet apart from celebrants who do not live in your household.
- Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
- Go outside to pass out treats.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before handing out treats.
- Instead of handing out treats, create individual treat bags and set up an outdoor station for children to take their own bag.
- Wear a cloth mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times.
“Be sure to wear a cloth mask that covers the nose and mouth to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. A standard Halloween costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask, and you should not wear a Halloween costume mask over a cloth mask – this can make breathing very difficult. Instead, have fun incorporating a cloth mask into your costume! For example, dress up as a ninja or a healthcare worker,” said Katherine Duncan, MD, Director of Pediatric Advocacy and Global Health at BKO.
Pediatricians at BKO also ask parents and guardians to remember the general Halloween safety tips that have applied in year’s past and remain applicable this year. Those safety measures include the following:
- Adults should accompany younger children at all times. If teens plan to go out on their own, review their route in advance and agree on a specific time to return home.
- Cross streets at the corners, looking both ways before crossing. Obey traffic signals and remain within crosswalks.
- Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective stickers, lights or glow sticks. Have children carry flashlights.
- Make sure costumes fit appropriately to avoid trips and falls. Select fire resistant costumes, wigs and accessories.
- Inspect all treats before consuming them to ensure wrappers are sealed and have not been tampered with. Do not accept homemade treats.
Those who may not feel comfortable trick-or-treating this year do not have to miss out on the festivities and fun. Pediatricians at BKO suggest the following trick-or-treat alternatives:
- Decorate your home as a family. Invite neighbors to compete in a decorating contest.
- Hold a neighborhood parade outdoors so everyone can show of their costume while maintaining social distancing.
- Visit a pumpkin patch. Carve pumpkins with the members of your household, or outside with friends and neighbors.
- Go on an outdoor, Halloween-themed scavenger hunt.
- Have a spooky movie marathon with members of your household. Let each member choose a movie.
- Hide Halloween treats around your home and have a treat hunt with members of your household.
“Although we need to make adjustments to the way we celebrate this year, there are still plenty of opportunities to have a fun and safe holiday,” said Dr. Clark.
About Navicent Health
Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.