Halloween will be extra trickier this year with the coronavirus pandemic. State officials in New Hampshire have said trick-or-treating can still happen—but it should be done with some precautions.
Here are some COVID-19 guidelines to keep in mind.
■ Stay home if you are sick. Don’t trick-or-treat and don’t give out candy.
■ Everyone should wear a mask—parents, homeowners giving out candy, and children in costumes. Note: according to the CDC, a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. Children still need to wear cloth masks. The CDC recommends integrating the mask into costumes, since wearing a cloth mask over a costume mask could make breathing more difficult.
■ Bring hand sanitizer and use it frequently. According to the CDC, hand sanitizer should have 60 percent alcohol. Children using hand sanitizer should do so with adult supervision. You still need to wash your hand with soap and water for 20 seconds when you return home—as well as before you enjoy your candy.
■ Maintain six feet of social distancing. Also, avoid gathering in large groups.
■ Homeowners should hand out candy outdoors and consider setting up a table with candy to ensure social distancing. One additional option is to make individualized candy bags for children to take.
In addition, keep in mind these general safety tips:
■ Children should always be accompanied by an adult when out.
■ Stick to sidewalks not the streets.
■ Stay in well-lit areas. Bring a flashlight for use after dark.
■ Drivers should go slowly and be on the alert for children on the street.
Not everyone may feel comfortable going out this year—and that’s OK. But there are still some other ways you can celebrate Halloween. The CDC has pulled together a few alternatives. They include:
Decorating and pumpkin carving. Go all out on the Halloween decorations this year. Make pumpkin carving a family activity. You can also walk in the neighborhood to check out other homes’ decorations.
Visit an orchard or farm. Checking out a pumpkin patch or local apple orchard might be an especially fun way to celebrate Halloween for younger kids. (Plus, picking apples is a far healthier option than picking up candy!)
Explore an enchanted forest or corn maze. Walk through a haunted forest. Or, get lost—temporarily, of course—in a corn maze.
Trick-or-treat at home. Set up trick-or-treating stations in your home or yard. Better yet: raise the stakes by hiding the candy and turning it into a scavenger hunt.
Keep the costumes, skip the candy. One way to keep the spirit of trick-or-treating alive—minus the candy and close contact—is to dress your children up and hold an outdoor costume parade. Don’t forget to maintain social distancing.