Essential Tips for a Safe Halloween in 2022

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Halloween health concerns should still be top of mind, even as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes. Here are some things you can do to prevent transmission of nasty bugs.

With fears from the COVID-19 pandemic waning, it’s still important to stay vigilant with healthy practices as we observe Halloween. High-risk activities that could still put you at risk include door-to-door trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating (handing out treats from the trunks of cars in a parking lot), indoor costume parties, crowded haunted houses and even hayrides.

Even if you’re not as concerned with the COVID-19 virus, check out these health and safety tips for Halloween.

Incorporate a Mask in Kids’ Costumes

Sure, masks are popular with kids’ costumes for Halloween. But wearing additional masks can help protect them from all sorts of ghoulish viruses. These face masks can become part of a not-too-spooky costume. Or you can use markers to decorate a disposable mask with vampire fangs, a Teddy Bear nose and mouth, or a superhero’s logo.

Do a Candy Scavenger Hunt at Home

To stay safe and sound at home but not forgo Halloween altogether, consider an indoor candy scavenger hunt — in costume, of course!

Put the first clue in your kids’ treat bucket, then leave the next clue under each piece of candy they discover. If the weather’s not too cold, you can try the same activity outside, and maybe invite other kids and parents over for a fun backyard scavenger hunt.

Decorate the Backyard and Invite Kids Over

Try tricking out your backyard with spooky or playful Halloween decorations and invite your friends over for a safe Halloween party.

Place treats in plastic Easter eggs and hide them around the yard. Stage a mini-Halloween parade and award prizes for different costume categories. (Make sure every child gets a prize.) Or you can tell spooky stories around a fire pit.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

If you live near where pumpkins grow, you probably know that a visit to the pumpkin patch is a rite of autumn. Have them go in costume for some good photo ops. Bring home pumpkins for carving jack-o’-lanterns.

Check out this article from Frommer’s about the best fall orchards and farms across the US.

If You Decide to Trick-or-Treat:

Stick to Small Group

Keep your trick-or-treating group small and a safe distance from other groups. Wait for the group ahead of you to disperse before you approach doorways of homes. This is a good measure to prevent colds, coughs and other nasty bugs from jumping from one trick-or-treater to another.

Don’t Ring Doorbells with Your Hands

That witch’s broom or Harry Potter magic wand can do double duty this year — as a doorbell ringer. Germy hands can still transmit bugs other than the Coronavirus. If you don’t have costume props, bring an item you can use to ring doorbells, anything to avoid pressing a finger on the same button that dozens of others have touched. In any case, bring along hand sanitizer and give your child (and yourself) a squirt periodically throughout the evening.

Wipe Down Those Treats or Let Them Sit

For kids, there’s nothing more agonizing than waiting to enjoy their Halloween candy. If you can, allow candy to sit out overnight — on top of the fridge, maybe — or wipe down wrapped candy with sanitizing wipes before letting kids dig in.

If You Welcome Trick-or-Treaters:

Set Up a Treat Table

Instead of answering the door with a bowl of candy, set up a table outside with individually wrapped treat bags. If you don’t want to miss seeing all the little kids in costume, sit outside and watch the action. You can also use glow-in-the-dark tape to mark directional arrows in the driveway and keep traffic moving one-way.

Get Creative with Treat Handouts

Consider creative solutions for handing out candy. Create a candy chute with a long piece of decorated PVC pipe so kids remain at least six feet away. Another clever idea? If you’ve got a pet door on the front door, purchase some scary zombie gloves and pass treats through the pet door. After all, a socially distanced zombie is the best kind of zombie!