HMG Health Matters: Halloween activities and COVID-19

HMG Health Matters

(WJHL)- This year, parents may be wondering how to go about trick-or-treating, and households that usually give out candy may be trying to figure out how to keep everyone safe. Making a few adjustments will allow everyone to make the most of the night.

Halloween can be saved.

“There are ways. We just have to be more creative than we have in the past,” says Holston Medical Group pediatrician Dr. Lauren Stout.

Halloween is going to look a little different this year.  With the CDC recommending socially-distant trick-or-treating, personal interactions may be at a minimum if you choose to go door-to-door.

Dr. Lauren Stout says there are says there are ways to keep people safe on both sides of the door.

“I think the biggest thing parents need to consider is kind of risk, and what kinds of risks the family is willing to take,” she says.

Dr. Stout advises thinking about any high-risk family members you may have at your house, and adjusting your activities to minimize risk.

“You definitely don’t need to be the one that’s actually probably it’s handing out the candy so letting the kids pick up the candy themselves and then even having some hand sanitizer out there for the kids or family to use.”

If you choose to travel the neighborhood, Dr. Stout says make sure you are prepared.

“One, definitely carry around your hand sanitizer.  Use it before and after you’re going to get candy,” she says.  “The other thing, you want to make sure that you’re wearing masks, especially if you’re going in a group that is beyond just your family.

Dr. Stout says sanitizer is good for hands, and not for candy.

“You don’t necessarily have to sanitize the candy once you come back home and you want to eat it,” she says.  “They’ve found that the risk of transmission is the person-to-person transmission, not getting it off of surfaces or food, or things like that.”

Stout says by adding a few safeguard tricks to your evening, Halloween can still be a night of many treats.

She says, “As long as you’re taking into consideration yourself, your health, and things like that, there are ways you can safely participate in Halloween.”

Dr. Stout says in addition to wearing a mask, don’t forget about other Halloween safeguards.  Wear reflective clothing or use glow sticks to make sure you can be seen by cars.

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