Halloween is super fun. Whether you plan on getting dressed up and going door-to-door to get candy, or you're staying in and handing out candy to folks, this year things will need to be a little different. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very prevalent in many communities and trick-or-treating will need to be done in a safe manner to help prevent the unnecessary spread of COVID-19.
Here are some tips that can help keep you and those around you safe while you still enjoy Halloween (and don't forget to add some spooky wallpapers to your iPhone or iPad while you're at it).
NOTE: Guidelines and restrictions for Halloween vary by states, country, city, or region, so make sure you are heeding the advice and restrictions for trick-or-treating in your area. These general tips are just meant to help you limit contact during Halloween and not taken as professional medical advice. Check with your local health authorities for the most recent and up-to-date information for where you live.
Tips for going trick-or-treating
If you want to go trick-or-treating — with your kids or by yourself — here are some tips on how to do it safely this year.
Wear a mask
According to the CDC, wearing a mask while trick-or-treating or handing out candy is a must. The same guidelines for masks must be followed and costume masks are not considered proper masks — likely because they are too thin.
Get yourself a proper cloth face mask and make it part of your costume! I mean, ninjas wear masks, right?
Avoid other trick-or-treaters
As always, distancing yourself from people you don't live with is important to make sure spread stays to a minimum. Don't jam your way through a crowd and make sure you and your kids are six feet away from other people as much as possible. If there's a line up at a house, just stay spaced out and wait for your turn.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands thoroughly before going out to trick-or-treat, and bring hand sanitizer with you. Sanitize your hands frequently, especially anytime your hands make contact with something or someone you don't live with.
Let your candy sit for 72 hours
While this isn't an official CDC recommendation, some jurisdictions are advising that you let your candy sit before opening it and eating it. This isn't an exact science, and different regions have different timelines, but 72 hours (3 days) seems to be roughly what lots of areas are suggesting.
If you have eager kids who want to eat candy right away when they get home, consider buying a small box of candy for them to have some treats that night.
Tips for handing out candy
If you're handing out candy this year instead of going door-to-door, there are some things you can do to stay safe this Halloween.
Wear a mask
According to the CDC, wearing a mask while handing out candy is still imperative. The same guidelines for masks must be followed and costume masks are not considered proper masks — likely because they are too thin.
Get yourself a proper cloth face mask and make it part of your costume, and then hand out candy masked up the entire time.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands thoroughly before handing out candy, and frequently throughout the night. Use hand sanitizer in between trick-or-treaters to ensure you aren't passing anything from person to person.
Give treats outdoors where possible
We know that being in the open air is better for limiting spread than being in a confined area, and the CDC recommends that if you're handing out treats at all this year, that it be done outside wherever possible.
Bundle up under your costume and set up your candy station on your driveway, porch, or the front of your yard to keep things in the great outdoors.
Individual bagged treats
Another suggestion from the CDC is to individually bag treats as you hand them out, so you limit the amount you are touching the treats before you pass them out to kids. Wash your hands thoroughly before you touch the treats, and bag up your treats the night before.
Use tongs to hand out treats
On top of bagging your treats up, using tongs is a great way to limit your hand contact on the treats as you hand them out. Just grab some treats (or bagged treats) from your bowl and hand them out at a distance.
Have a safe Halloween
This year has definitely been a crazy one, but that doesn't mean that you can't trick-or-treat in 2020. Just do it carefully — it's for your safety, as well as others. Happy Halloween!