SUNDAY, Oct. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — As COVID-19 continues to dominate the United States, parents should plan ahead to keep their kids safe on Halloween, experts say.
Children 12 years and older are eligible for COVID injections, but many are not vaccinated. Those under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination.
“Some families hosted a family movie night last year, held virtual costume parties, or built special candy canes to maintain physical distance,” said pediatrician Dr. Gary Kirkilas of Phoenix in a press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
“Parents don’t necessarily have to do anything elaborate this year to make Halloween safe, but I would consider building on last year’s successes and making sure activities are kept small and outdoors whenever possible,” he added. up.
He suggested limiting trick-or-treating to small groups and reminded parents to make sure their children stay outside, where the virus is much less likely to spread. Children should avoid large groups that gather at front doors or in driveways.
If you’re handing out treats, consider sitting outside and putting individually prepackaged treats on a table for kids to take with them. Non-edible treats like stickers, glow sticks, temporary tattoos, and crayons are good options for trick-or-treaters with allergies.
If you take children under 12 to a party or community event, make sure they wear face masks and follow physical distancing rules. Masks should cover the mouth and nose and fit snugly on the sides of the face with no gaps.
In areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases, everyone inside should wear face masks, regardless of vaccination status, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Parents should remember that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.
After kids return from trick-or-treating, they should wash their hands and parents should inspect their candy to make sure the packaging isn’t ripped, ripped, or tampered with. Throw away homemade treats.
“The best way to protect children from COVID-19 is to start at home and make sure everyone in the family who is eligible to be vaccinated gets the vaccine,” Kirkilas said. “This adds a layer of protection, along with masking, for those too young to be vaccinated and provides peace of mind that everyone in the family can enjoy a safe and healthy Halloween.”
The Mayo Clinic has more on Halloween safety this year.
SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, press release, October 13, 2021