This year presents some unique challenges, especially for normally festive occasions such as Halloween. While the safest option would be to simply stay home, the area you live in might allow for a higher level of participation than others. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to have a plan before throngs of goblins and superheroes knock on your door or you yourselves head out into the evenings to fill your bags. I strongly suggest you check with your local, county and state governments for rates of community spread and adjust your exposure risk accordingly.
No matter where you live, you should still consider avoiding large gatherings and events where people from outside your community are likely to be present. This includes festivals, parties, and public haunted houses. It would be best to forgo leaving the house on Halloween and stay home for movies, games, spooky decorations, or baking together. If you decide not to go out but expect costumed visitors to come knocking, leave a table in front of the house with some packaged goodies laid out separately next to a bottle of hand sanitizer. If you are in an apartment building, try handing some string on your door with clothespins to hold pre-packaged candy such as M&Ms or mini candy bars.
If you are planning to trick or treat, a detailed strategy is a must to reduce risk and still scare up a good time for the little ones. It all starts with the costumes you pick this year. Try steering your children to outfits that incorporate masks and gloves. You can also make your own mask at home or visit your local sporting goods store to find coverings in a variety of designs and colors. Fishing gaiters make great face coverings as they completely cover the mouth and nose yet are comfortable enough to be worn under a plastic mask.
Gloves are crucial for trick or treating given the number of treats your children may come into contact with. Carry extra pairs of latex gloves with you, as well as a packet of sanitizing wipes. You might want to take a pair of tongs with you to pick up candy for your kids to avoid them handling any at all. Maintain your distance from other groups, and avoid houses that are handing out candy or have a communal bowl out front.
After you return home with your sugary loot, wash all clothing immediately and wipe down everything else. Throw away any disposable gloves, masks and bags that were used. It is very important that you wait at least 72 hours before touching any of the candy that was collected, and make sure to dispose of any items that are not in a sealed package or damaged. Prepare ahead of time by stocking up on some of your family’s favorite sweets so that they are not tempted to dip into the quarantined goods ahead of time.
Regardless of how you decide to spend your Halloween, remember to wear a mask and gloves, keep your distance, and wash your hands. While this year Halloween may be a bit scarier than in previous years, let’s make it a safe and fun event for everyone.
Did someone in your family dress up as a Mother Goose Club character? If so, please be sure to share it with us by posting and tagging with #mothergooseclub!