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How to plan Halloween during a pandemic

The pandemic makes trick-or-treat a challenge. These real tips make it less difficult.

Adam Weinberg, brand director at Haven Life, is still not sure how his 4- and 6-year-olds will celebrate Halloween this year – but he's pretty sure it will not look like a previous celebration. "We usually meet with friends in the neighborhood and go around trick-or-treating," explains Weinberg's wife, Kathy. "We end up with the grandparents and order food and distribute sweets to trick-or-treaters.

These are activities that the Centers for Disease Control has noticed a higher risk or more likely to spread. the virus that causes COVID-19. Traditional trick-or-treat (where children walk from door to door and interact directly with neighbors) is on the higher risk list, as are trunk-or-treats, haunted houses and cramped costume parties.

So what will Halloween 2020 look like? The CDC lists several lower-risk Halloween options, from "admiring Halloween decorations from a distance" to "having a virtual Halloween costume contest." And what do families really plan to do this Halloween if they can not go to a haunted house or a Halloween party? While some parents may still decide how to create a safe Halloween party for their children, others have already come up with plans that allow them to celebrate at home, join the quarantine bellows or – in some cases – try to cheat or treat as safe as possible.

This is how we learned when we asked parents how they planned to handle Halloween 2020.

In this article:

Make trick-or-treating safer [19659010] Although the CDC has noticed trick-or-treating treatment as "higher risk", some families continue with the tradition – and try to do so as safely as possible. "I have two daughters and my husband and I decided to do trick-or-treating with a mask on, despite the CDC's guidance," said Julie Revelant, a content marketer and founder of JulieRevelant.com. "I have GAD [generalized anxiety disorder] so I can actually wash the Halloween candy before they eat it."

Michelle Meredith of Bright Color Mom also plans to have her children tricked or treated. "I do not expect our neighbors to wear masks, but my children will, and I will have hand sanitizer in my pocket along with an eagle eye to tell if they have touched any candy they receive." When they get home, Meredith will give her children a piece of candy to eat immediately while leaving their trick-or-treat trait untouched for 48 hours.

If you are trying to decide whether to allow your children to cheat or treat this year, be aware that the risks may outweigh the benefits. "I normally believe a lot in sending kids out to ring bells, talk to strangers, carry their own bags and deal with any discomfort," explains Lenore Skenazy, founder of the Free-Range Kids movement and president of Let Grow, a non-profit that promotes childhood independence. "In a pandemic, it doesn't make much sense with traditional trick-or-treating – neither to open the door and interact with many children nor to knock on doors and interact with many adults."

Start a Hunting Hunt

If you want your children to have the benefits of interacting with the larger world outside their home without the risks of interacting directly with neighbors and crowds, consider setting up a junk hunt for to get them in the Halloween spirit. "Let the children go out, let them dress up, let them walk around the area," Skenazy suggests. "But instead of trick-or-treat, maybe get them to do some sort of junk hunt – find an acorn, a piece of litter, a red leaf – and make the reward candy."

The CDC includes Halloween scavenger hunts as a lower risk alternative to trick-or-treat, as long as your children are far away from other families. If you can not create a socially distant scavenger hunt outdoors, you can also let your children hunt for objects in your own home. It's also on the CDC's list of lower risks – and that's what John and Annie Puskar are planning for their family. "My older son is really in the movie The Jungle Book, so he dresses up as Mowgli, mom as Bagheera, my other son as Ka and I as Baloo," said John Puskar. "We plan to decorate the living room in a jungle theme and do a similar scavenger hunt that leads him to candy and candy."

Celebrate with your quarantine pod

Carole Jones in My Kitchen Escapades is one of many parents who have gone with other families to form quarantine pods. "In recent months, we have developed what we consider to be a circle of trust in our children, which includes a small number of friends who follow the same safety precautions as our family."

This year, these families will be celebrating Halloween pod style. We will make our own trick-or-treat stations and activities in our backyard so that the children can be safe while still enjoying the holidays. We will not go door to door or distribute sweets to our community.

Amy Motroni, founder of The Postpartum Party, plans similar festivities with the families of her trusted circle. "We will have muffins for the kids to decorate, a costume contest, a Halloween movie in the background and a candy tailor hunt!" Motroni says that everyone in her pod is really looking forward to the festivities. "It's nice to have something on the calendar that we can check instead of taking the wait and seeing the approach."

The CDC does not include quarantine parties in its lists of lower risk, moderate risk or higher risk Halloween activities, however, this advice provides: “Meetings with more people are more risky than meetings with fewer people. The CDC has no limit or recommends a certain number of participants for gatherings.

Have Halloween Fun at Home

For some families, the plan is to try a nice and memorable Halloween party without leaving the house. "Instead of cheating, I give my son the rare privilege of eating as much junk food and dessert at home as he wants," says Chris Cade, founder of The Miracles Store.

Style trainer Kim Hancher creates Halloween memories by giving his 11-year-old twin daughters the opportunity to scare themselves stupidly. "We celebrate Halloween this year by dressing up, eating sweets and popcorn and watching a scary movie. They've never seen a scary movie before.

Lauren O & # 39; Connor, a registered dietitian who runs Nutri Savvy Health, also has double tweens – and this year she lets them plan the family's safer home party to get into the Halloween spirit. "I did not have to work too hard to handle our Halloween festivities during this pandemic. In fact, my girls took the lead. They decorate face masks and we will bake some special candies. When it comes to trick-or-treating, we chose to avoid it altogether. Why take the risk when you can have so much fun at home?

The CDC considers this type of home activity to be lower risk and recommends that you decorate your home, carve a pumpkin, watch Halloween movies (scary or otherwise) and, as previously mentioned, a virtual costume contest with friends and relatives . Why take the risk when you can have so much fun at home? ”

—Lauren O & # 39; Connor, parent and registered dietitian

Are you handing out candy this year?

Halloween is not just about taking your kids out as a trick-or-treat. For many families, it is also about handing out sweets to everyone else in the neighborhood. However, some parents are hesitant to hand out treats face to face and will alternatively share the candy supply – for example, the viral candy chute created by a father from Cincinnati.

“Because my son and I live in a generational household with elders who have underlying relationships. We will maintain a very strict quarantine for Halloween this year. Instead of handing out candy, we leave a bowl of "Please Help Yourself" for all the children who come by, "Cade explains.

Revelant plans something similar." For tricks or therapists, I will probably pull together individual treatment bags and leave them out for the kids to grab. "

The CDC notices this" one-way trick-or-treat ", saying it is a moderate risk activity while with the following advice:" If you are preparing a candy bag, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags. ”

That being said, it's worth noting that many parents may not allow their children to eat the candy you give them – so this may not be the year to go around full – size candy bars or expensive candy. " did some form of limited trick-or-treat, I do not think we would allow children to eat the candy they received in other people's houses, "Weinberg said." We would give our children sealed candy that we bought from the store. "

Focus on What Your Family Can Do, Not on What It Can't Do

Weinberg and his wife – like many parents – still think about how to celebrate Halloween in the midst of a pandemic, while weighing the risks and benefits of using it the time to focus their children's expectations on the aspects of the holiday that will definitely happen.

"We are positive and talk about what costumes you want to get and who you want to be," Kathy said. our children choose a suit and dress up, "said Adam. "But how trick-or-treat will manifest itself remains to be seen."

Whether you've already come up with your alternative Halloween party, or are still deciding how to handle the Halloween season this year, stay focused on all the fun things your family will do together – not on the things your kids might miss. Involve your children in as much planning as possible, given their age and interests; younger children may be able to choose who they want to be for Halloween, and older children may plan the Halloween menu or choose the scary movie. If one of your Halloween traditions is about showing off costumes to friends and relatives, plan some time to connect via FaceTime or Zoom.

Here's one last tip, given that Halloween is such a candy-oriented holiday: If you're one of the many parents planning to give their kids candy this year (instead of letting your kids eat the candy they collect during trick-or-treat), make sure they get plenty of their favorite treats and treats. This year's Halloween may have its share of disappointments and adjustments, but disappointing sweets should not be one of them – and if you get the candy part right, you can have Halloween in the bag, as it were.

Or as Kathy Weinberg put it: "As long as they have candy that they're happy we're giving them, they'll be okay."

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Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that it is easy to navigate decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and your general well-being. ). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and general well-being can be refreshingly easy.

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