COLORADO SPRINGS — Halloween traditions are taking a turn this year.
“No one is canceling Halloween, right? So, switch from the negative to the positive – how do you celebrate Halloween in a way that’s safe and fun?” said Chris Nyquist, MD, Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Children’s Hospital Colorado is offering parents tips on how to modify Halloween plans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All of the principles that we have for having a safe life in the pandemic, we just need to think about adding things for Halloween,” Nyquist said.
Instead of the usual door-to-door trick-or-treating, the hospital recommends talking with neighbors to have small bags of candy laid out along the sidewalk, or hold a trunk-or-treat with a small group.
“When you think about who do you engage with now through the pandemic? Many families have chosen small groups of people who are part of their pod. So, a school pod where you have five or 10 kids who they’re interacting every day with each other, and wearing their masks, washing their hands,” Nyquist said.
And make sure your child’s costume is still protective.
“You can’t utilize the classic you know, plastic masks because that is not what we need for preventing virus transmission. It really has to be a cloth kid of mask, that’s multi-layered. But you can think about creative ways to be Batman having a mask. There’s a lot of creative things that families can do to incorporate the mask in their Halloween costumes and making sure the kids are able to breathe well, but it can be really fun,”
Once you’re home, Children’s Colorado recommends having a “hands-off” the candy for 48-72 hours.
According to the hospital, studies show COVID-19 can survive for up to three days on some surfaces.
“Maybe you have that candy sitting away for a while the kids have collected in their little pod, and then you have other candy that’s your household candy that you supplement and then switch it back. So, it’s one of the ideas we’ve thought about for families who are more concerned about groceries and wiping groceries down, just an idea for how they can utilize that tip to enhance the safety if they choose to do that for their kids,” Nyquist said.