Tips for a Safe and Healthy Halloween
How can families with young children have a safe and healthy Halloween in this year of the coronavirus?
“Under current circumstances, Halloween should look very different than we’re accustomed to in order to ensure public safety,” said Dr. Jason Goldstein, Health and Wellness Advisor for Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care. “This current COVID-19 environment presents significant challenges since trick-or-treating involves numerous points of contact and social distancing will be a major challenge. In the short term, it may be wise to think creatively and restrict trick-or-treating activities to members of your own family bubble. It will also be important on a neighborhood level to reassess case positivity rates for your specific community as October 31 draws closer.”
Most communities are in the process of making those reassessments, if they haven’t already done so. The result is that we’re likely to see trick-or-treating rules differ from community to community this year. Make sure you know what to expect in your neighborhood.
No matter what Halloween will look like where you live, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some useful general guidance for safely getting through Halloween. The CDC recommends avoiding activities that are high-risk for spreading viruses. That would include things like traditional door-to-door trick or treating or attending large gatherings. However, they offer suggestions for low- and moderate-risk alternatives, such as small, socially distanced get-togethers, or pumpkin carving parties and costume contests with family and small groups of friends.
Mr. Rob’s Tips
We asked our friend Rob Bieschke, one of our Kiddie Academy corporate Education Project Managers, to suggest some ideas for things you can do for this most-unusual Halloween. He said that just because this year has been full of tricks, that doesn’t mean your family doesn’t deserve some treats. Here’s what he came up with:
If trick or treating can proceed in your community, here are a few ways to maximizing the fun:
1. Consider incorporating a CDC approved face mask into your child’s costume. This way, if traditional trick or treating does take place, your child can show off their mask as part of their ensemble!
2. Set out candy packed in individual treat bags at the end of your driveway for the trick or treaters to grab and for you and your children to admire the costumes in a socially distant way.
3. Invite relatives within your “circle” to set up socially distant stations in an open area like a field or large backyard. This usually includes family members dressing up and decorating a table to a Halloween theme, much like a trunk-or-treat.
If trick or treating is unable to take place in your community, here are a few tips to reinvent the festivities:
1. Invite your children to set up their favorite games in stations around the house. The entire family plays each game and when a game is completed the children get candy. Don’t worry, the adults may have candy too!
2. Create a candy scavenger hunt around your home. Hide candy and create clues as to where the candy can be found. Encourage your children to dress up to solve the clues and find the candy.
3. Invent creepy candy concoctions in the kitchen. Provide a variety of candy for your children to combine to create new flavors and silly treats. Add ice-cream into the mix for a frozen fall delight.
Rob says these tips and tricks will help add festive fun to this upside-down year and your little monsters will be delighted to have a break from e-learning as they search for candy and laugh with their family.
The Great Pumpkin Candy Giveaway
Here’s another idea for you to consider. Last year we also told you about The Great Pumpkin Candy Giveaway. On a normal Halloween, it involves taking a portion of the candy your kids collect while trick-or-treating and donating to charitable organizations. This year, if there’s no door-to-door trick-or-treating in your area, you can donate the candy you might otherwise have given away.
We like the concept of the Great Pumpkin because it extends our Character EssentialsSM learning into the home. It’s a great lesson in generosity, empathy and kindness for your children. Plus, it keeps all that extra sugar out of their – and your – mouths.
You can check last year’s post for more information on the Great Pumpkin, which includes a list of organizations that accept candy.
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Dr. Goldstein serves as an independent medical consultant to Kiddie Academy Domestic Franchising, LLC (KADF). The views expressed and information presented are Dr. Goldstein’s professional opinion , and are not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. KADF encourages you to confirm the information with other sources, and to review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.