Many of us have been wondering. Kids have been hoping. Now some communities are saying residents are free to move forward with Halloween trick-or-treating while encouraging some practical safety precautions.

While this is not an overall endorsement for Halloween trick-or-treating, it's a positive step considering how many events have been canceled and places closed in 2020 due to COVID-19. Weddings, birthday parties, graduation ceremonies and so many more fun activities we would normally enjoy have fallen to the wayside due to the ongoing pandemic. It's hard for kids to understand what is going on. Children crave stability and routine and this has not been the year for much of that. Here are some tips to keep your "little ghouls" safe and healthy from Dr. Matthew Kronman, an infectious disease expert at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

  • Dr. Kronman believes that there are a lot of ways that Halloween can be successful this year. For starters, trick-or-treating is outdoors, perfect for allowing social distancing.
  • Incorporate masks (mouth and nose coverings) with costumes. Masks can be designed to go with a costume or children can easily draw vampire teeth or cat whiskers on a mask.
  • Hang back if you see children at the door collecting their candy and allow a wide berth when passing others
  • Practice good hygiene. Bring hand sanitizer to allow for cleanliness on the go
  • Limit touching points. Instead of allowing kids to reach into the candy bowl, drop the candy into their bags or baskets. Similarly, stand outside or at the door to limit knocking and doorbell pushing.

Other things to keep in mind are that others may not feel comfortable participating in the spooktacular holiday. Whether it's due to health concerns or other valid reasons, be prepared for fewer homes to pass out candy and leave their lights off. There are many ways families can celebrate without going door to door. Halloween movies, crafts, candy hunts in the home with flashlights, games while wearing costumes, or themed scavenger hunts.

The most important thing is to stay safe and allow others to do what they need to do to feel safe.

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