Is it safe to trick or treat during the Covid-19 pandemic? Are there safer alternatives? Safety guidelines have warned us not to take part in the annual Halloween tradition of trick or treating due to the risk of infection. With the BBC speculating that Halloween should be cancelled. This was back in 2020, before most of the country could access a vaccine or have recovered from the illness but is there a need to be safe this year? Infectious disease experts say the most significant risk in trick-or-treating is spending time in close contact with those who don’t live in your home. With the risks in mind you may be looking to spend Halloween a different way again this year, here are five top tips for a safe Halloween.
Breaking with Tradition
While the coronavirus has halted most of the last 18 months, with lockdown birthdays, cancelled weddings and now we could be facing restrictions being reintroduced for the winter months, are our Halloween celebrations safe? However it is still complicated as parties, school events and indoor events carry more risk than being outside but knocking door to door still has risks.
Having a Safe Halloween at Home
Sometimes the best options are the ones spent in the comfort of your own home. There are multiple ways that you can still have a safe Halloween.
- Decorate or carve pumpkins and use them to decorate your porch.
- Use your house and decorate inside and/or outside. You could incorporate some Halloween crafts to keep the kids entertained.
- Have your own MINI Halloween party for your household or close friends and family (at your own risk). You can dress up, have some Halloween inspired treats, maybe baking your own and getting the children involved, you could take on the Easter egg hunt with a twist and hide Halloween treats either in the garden or the house. To take it a step further, you could make it a treasure hunt!
- You can never go wrong with a movie night! Make some Halloween inspired treats and make it a movie night feast. You can all dress up too!
- Finally, all get dressed up and walk around your local area, admiring all the pumpkins and decorations. You don’t need to knock on doors, and you could make a game out of it for younger ones with finding the scariest pumpkin or the most decorated house.
Visting Your Local Pumpkin Patch
Over the last few years, thanks to influencers farms and pumpkin growers have opened up their crops and fields to the general public. You can pick your own pumpkins, take that Instagram photo and grab some snacks from the food trucks dotted around (maybe just our one). They are often Halloween themed with spooky photo opportunities everywhere you turn.
There is usually a fee to enter, and due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are stipulations that you have to book in advance and there are still limits on the amount of people per household in some areas (Not sure how flexible this is if you have a larger family so worth checking). Definitely a must with younger children!
Should I Answer the Door To Trick or Treaters?
There is no reason why you can’t answer the door. Short bursts of interaction offer the least risk, however, if you feel that this year you’d rather give it a miss this year, then please don’t feel guilty. If you are okay having little ones knocking on the door, make sure you hand sanitise and wash your hands regularly and it would be more than acceptable for you to wear a face covering.
There are ways that you can support your community. Leave treats in a bowl that children can help themselves to (under adult supervision), put out a pumpkin display for children to admire or have some spooky decorations to help get the youngsters into the mood.
Establishing Rules for a Safe Halloween
Trick or treating itself isn’t more at risk than your child is at school with 200 other pupils; staying in small bubbles of six will make it safer. But there are ways to limit the chance of infection.
- Establish rules – Before leaving the house, please explain some simple rules to your children. No running around, you should stay in your group. If you have to choose sweets, take one, no dipping in and out of the bowl and beware of other people.
2. Bring hand sanitiser and wear masks if it makes you feel comfortable – We are all used to keeping hand sanitiser in our bags along with masks, so it is best to practise good hygiene, and after every few house visits or bowl touches, you sanitise your hands.
3. Be mindful of people, neighbours and those who are perhaps self-isolating – It goes without saying that while out and about you make sure to practise safe distancing, be cautious of the elderly and those who may be self-isolating. Only knock on doors that are obviously taking part due to their decorations.
One Final Note
Halloween can be a scary time for people with anxiety, mental health issues and the elderly so when out and about please remember to be mindful that some households may not react the way you want them to, they may find costumes intimidating so please don’t get angry or upset if someone doesn’t open the door or tells you to leave. Hopefully, with these tips, you will have an enjoyable and safe Halloween.
Wishing you a Happy Halloween, whatever you decide to do! May it be a safe and COVID-19 free one. Let me know below if you are celebrating or if it causes you a great deal of anxiety?
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