Essentia Health Offers Recommendations for a Safe Halloween
Essentia Health is urging the public to celebrate Halloween this year with caution.
“Halloween doesn’t need to end just because we are in a pandemic, but it does need to be different,” said Essentia Health Pediatrician Dr. Jonathan KenKnight.
The public is urged to wear face masks, avoid large gatherings, and to stay home if you don’t feel well. Get-togethers should remain at 10 people or less, and seating should be spaced out to allow for space between each person. The public is urged to keep windows open for better airflow and to minimize sharing items.
For those who plan to give out treats, Dr. KenKnight recommends organizing pre-packed treat bags to hand out, and to have hand sanitizer available. It’s also recommended that parents thoroughly wipe down the child’s candy, and to let it sit for a couple days.
The American Academy of Pediatrics brings fourth additional recommendations for a safe Halloween:
- Meet with friends virtually and show off costumes. Have fun with it! In cold climates, this may be the first time your child can wear a costume that isn’t buried under a parka.
- When planning a costume, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats. If children plan to use their cloth face coverings as part of their costume, they should not paint them, as some paints contain toxins.
- Celebrate with a movie night and dress as your favorite characters. Do this as a family at home or consider letting your child watch with their friends while video chatting, with everyone starting the movie at the same time.
- Look for community events focused on safe ways to have fun, such as programs offered by a park district, arboretum, pumpkin patch, zoo or other outdoor venue in your area.
- Decorate pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers, then parents can do the cutting.
- If children are outdoors, consider marking their costumes with reflective tape. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame. Remind children to be careful around cars, as drivers may not see them. Remind them also to wash hands really well when you return home.
- Consider offering non-edible goodies to friends and family with food allergies. Food Allergy Research & Education’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safe trick-or-treating options for food-allergic children and suggests handing out non-food items. Make sure the items do not pose choking hazards for young children.