Is trick-or-treating safe?
As Halloween draws closer, many families are facing the difficult choice of whether to let their kids go out to collect candy during the pandemic.
“It’s traditional, and its one of the funnest memories of childhood,” Erin Reid, a mother of three from Syracuse, N.Y., told MarketWatch. “The younger you are the more fun that holiday is. It’s so cool, everything about it.”
Reid, 39, has two children who have outgrown trick-or-treating, but her youngest son Jaxx, 7, is at the age when kids usually like to go out to collect candy. Unfortunately, Jaxx was not allowed to go trick-or-treating last year over safety concerns surrounding the pandemic — the family opted for a small get-together instead.
“It was sad. I hate it, but that was better than him staying home,” Reid said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared tips on how to safely participate in Halloween activities like treat-or-treating. Those tips include:
- Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
- Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
- Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
- Wash hands before handling treats.
- Wear a mask
A more comprehensive list of the CDC’s Halloween-related safety measures can be found on the CDC’s website.
Reid said that she has not made definitive plans for Halloween with her son, but will implement some safety measures to “minimize risk” while trick-or-treating.
“I’ll probably make him wear his regular mask, and then the mask of his costume,” she explained. “I’ll want his costume to have gloves as well. We are going to take every precaution.”
Reid added that her trick-or-treating group will be small, and hoped “that parents just put candy out on the porch, that would be really great.”
She also added there is an individual in their home who is immunocompromised.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last week that trick-or-treating is safe, if done properly.
“If you’re able to trick-or-treat outdoors, absolutely,” Walensky told CBS.
Confirmed cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19 in the U.S. continued their recent steady decline on Monday, as the country looks to move past a July surge likely caused by the highly transmissible delta variant.
The CDC’s vaccine tracker is showing that 185.5 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, equivalent to about 56% of the population — that number has stayed relatively static for weeks.