Trick or Treat or not, that is the big question this week. On the one hand, you have the parents who want their children to experience something positive during this crazy time of the pandemic, on the other hand, you have the elderly people who have for years enjoyed the passing out of candy to the little ones every year, but fear for their own health this year with what the experts are saying are the little spreaders.
Thinking back to a time most of us remember as a great time of fun and frolicking with our friends, all the while getting tons of candy to take to our own little home, it is a shame that this most disappointing and unusual year has put even the simplest fun for kids on the yes and no of things they have already missed.
But is trick-or-treating in 2020 safe? It’s a complicated question as stated in an article in goodhousekeeping.com by Zee Krstic Oct. 6, 2020, they have printed the new safety guidelines from the CDC health officials with comments from Sandra Kesh, M.D. an infectious disease specialist.
While the novel coronavirus pandemic has interrupted many of our annual traditions, it seems many families are dead-set on celebrating Halloween during quarantine. A recent Harris Poll survey suggests that more than 70% of millennial moms are planning to make “the most” of Halloween with their families, with 80% of all surveyed saying that heading out to trick-or-treat is at the top of their list of things to do on Halloween.
While the CDC offers many different alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating, if you’re still thinking about organizing a trick-or-treat outing, independent health experts say these considerations should be front of mind. The most significant risk may hinge on who you’re actually trick-or-treating with, because close contact is defined as those “who are within six feet of you for more than 10 to 15 minutes,” Dr. Kesh explains.
Dr. Kesh does not feel that joining a big group of trick-or-treaters is a good idea. Also, face to face exposure make your visit to a door or front porch very brief and especially being extremely careful with your children touching candy, toys, doors, or other surfaces anywhere they go trick-or-treating.
The issue of masks is also discussed that it should be easy to incorporate a face-covering into your child’s costume and if not, it says perhaps skip the costume masks and wear the cloth protective masks.
Dr. Kesh adds: Establish ground rules. “Your child shouldn’t be digging around a candy bowl, touching multiple pieces. Ask them to choose one and stick with it,” Dr. Kesh advises. “And while it’s hard to ask kids not to run around the street, you should ask them to stay as far away from people outside of your household, to continue to do social distancing even outside.”
Don’t share props, toys or bowls. Keep the swords, wands and tiaras from being passed around if you can. Ask each of your children to hold onto their own candy bags.
Bring hand sanitizer, and practice not touching your face. “It’s always good to take a break, do a check-in and give kids some hand sanitizer to clean their hands between multiple homes,” Dr. Kesh adds. This is also an opportunity to give kids a break from wearing a mask if they need it, in a safe spot away from others where they can remove their mask with clean hands.
Dr. Kesh says that using a candy bowl could be an acceptable solution for trick-or-treaters and their hosts. She also gives a quick no, as to traveling to different places and many neighborhoods.
The main risks for trick-or-treating are joining a big group of trick-or-treaters, face to face exposure, and the touching.
Disinfecting each candy wrapper may be a bit over the top, Dr. Kesh explains, especially since you can naturally allow any potentially infectious surface germs to die off with time. “Something that you can also do is to put most of the candy away for the first three days that it’s in your home, and then the rest of the candy is safe to eat after the time has passed,” she advises.
The question of trick-or-treating is a huge one this year and ultimately it is up to parents as to whether they decide to take their children out or choose to stay home and do some indoor fun with the family, but whatever decision parents make, Halloween 2020 may look different for everyone but will be done with the children in mind.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights