Clearly nothing about 2020 has been “the usual”, and this includes Halloween! For the past few years Parkside has had a wonderful time as a community on Halloween. We’re used to dressing our children in their favorite characters and going around the community seeing others, and of course getting treats. This year may be different BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun!
Here is what’s being said about the traditional way of doing things this Halloween:
The Baltimore Sun stated “Based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines released last week for fall holidays, traditional celebrations like trick-or-treating are considered high risk, along with indoor attractions like haunted houses and activities that could bring strangers in close proximity with one another, such as hay rides.” But, trick-or-treating can likely be done safely if done outside with minimal contact.
Tips for Trick-or-Treating:
- Prepare goodie bags. The CDC recommends “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).” This activity is considered moderately risky in the CDC guidelines, while traditional trick-or-treating, and trunk-or-treating, are marked as “high risk. This minimizes multiple hands in a bowl.
- Take precautions while prepping goody bags. If you are the one preparing goody bags, wash your hands to soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after prepping bags.
- Wear a mask (and not just the costume kind). Keep in mind that most costume masks alone aren’t effective at stopping the spread of germs. So make sure your child wears at least a two-ply face mask, and check that they can breathe comfortably if they are also going to use a costume mask. A better way to go – a Halloween-themed two-ply face mask!
- Limit the group size.Keep your child’s trick-or-treating group to just siblings or a close friend or two.
- Limit the houses you visit.To limit unnecessary exposure to others, just go to a few homes on your street, or to visit just a few friends you know well.
- Social distance. Leave lots of space between any other trick-or-treaters.
- Plan ahead to avoid contact. Neighbors should wear masks and gloves and stay outside their front door or at the end of their driveway or yard, so kids don’t have to touch door surfaces. Instead of having kids reach into a communal candy bowl, they should use gloves to hand out individual bags to each child and set up a one-way route to avoid crowding.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Remember to have kids use hand sanitizer in between homes to further reduce risk.
- Stay homeif you might be sick. If any of your family members are feeling sick or think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, please stay home and quarantine!
- Spooky movie night. Celebrate with a movie night and dress as your favorite characters. Do this as a family at home or consider letting your child watch with their friends while video chatting, with everyone starting the movie at the same time. For tips on finding age-appropriate movies for your child, read more here.
- Decorating pumpkins. This is one Halloween tradition that’s as safe and fun as ever. As always, just be careful to avoid pumpkin carving injuries. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting. When the carving is done, consider putting a battery-operated light rather than an open-flame candle inside. Roast the seeds from the pumpkin for a healthy snack.
- Halloween-themed treats. Make some fun Halloween treats as a family. Decorate a pizza with toppings in the shape of a jack-o’-lantern, for example, or make tangerine pumpkins (peel the tangerine and stick a thin slice of celery on top to look like a stem). Make sure the treats are not choking hazards if you have children under age 3.
Happy Halloween from Parkside!