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Mom and her children carving pumpkins.

Finding Fun in Halloween Without the Fright of COVID-19

By Dr. Sara Smith, Suffolk Pediatrics

This year brings the second Halloween of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means precautions are in order, but kids can still have plenty of trick-or-treating fun.

Federal health authorities say that trick-or-treating outside should be fine as long as you limit the number of people gathered and avoid crowded indoor Halloween parties.

Families should also consider the transmission rate in their particular community, and whether any family members are at high risk of COVID-19 complications. In those situations, consider lower risk activities, such as pumpkin decorating, virtual costume parties, movie night at home, or a Halloween scavenger hunt in the back yard.

Those who do decide to trick-or-treat should be careful to avoid groups or clustering at doorsteps or at any other place. They should maintain a distance of six feet from others, wear cloth face coverings, and wash their hands frequently.

Residents who wish to hand out treats may consider sitting outdoors and wearing cloth face coverings. They may also consider handing out individually prepacked treat bags.

Also, kids or adults with symptoms of COVID-19, who are waiting for viral test results, or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, should not participate in activities where they’ll be near others.

If children are outdoors, consider marking their costumes with reflective tape. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.

Remind everyone to wash their hands really well when they return home and to carry hand sanitizer and extra face coverings.

Don’t wear a costume mask over a cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

When planning a costume, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats. If children plan to use their cloth face coverings as part of their costume, they should not paint them, as some paints contain toxins.

For more fun and safe Halloween ideas, click here.

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About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.