Stay home to celebrate a safe Halloween

Some communities are putting a stop to classic Halloween traditions such as door-to-door trick-or-treating and haunted houses because of the coronavirus.

As of Sept. 17, more than 587,000 children had tested positive for covid-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children represented 0 to 0.33 percent of all Covid-19 deaths.

Canceling these events will reduce large gatherings of people that violate the health policies intended to prevent contact with others, which can spread the virus.

Video conferencing, such as costume and pumpkin-carving contests, drive-by parades or Halloween-themed movies are all good and safe choices to be creative with your own way to celebrate a spooky, safe Halloween.

With the Halloween holiday approaching, the witch-trial town of Salem, Massachusetts, is discouraging visitors.

“Our message to those planning a trip to Salem this October at this point is to postpone your visit” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said at a news conference introducing new protocols to limit visitors, restrict parking and implement crowd-control measures. “This is not the year to come to Salem.”

The question many households are asking during Halloween 2020 — Should we let kids go trick-or-treating during the pandemic — has an easy answer in light of the novel coronavirus.

Outdoor activities are generally safer than indoor ones but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance on Halloween, saying that collecting candy door to door is high-risk.

This year’s holiday had all the hallmarks of a perfect night: It’s on a Saturday, and there will be a full moon.

With pandemic numbers predicted to spike in autumn, parents should help eager children who crave old-fashioned fun and normalcy during Halloween find safer, creative alternatives.

Children could become asymptomatic carriers, spreading the disease instead of falling victim to it themselves,

Parents should consider other health risks in the household: obesity, diabetes, chronic pulmonary conditions such as asthma and COPD, as well as if a member of the family is over 65 years or old.

Parents should not to forget about normal hazards that can occur during trick-or-treating.

Kids walking around at night should always stay on the sidewalks, bring a flashlight and wear protective gear such as reflective or neon vests, bands or sashes so drivers passing by can see children clearly.

Though the CDC listed trick-or-treating as a higher-risk activity (along with trunk-or-treats, crowded indoor costume parties and haunted houses), there are plenty of Halloween traditions it listed as “lower risk.”

Among them: carving and displaying pumpkins, putting on a Halloween scavenger hunt for your children, holding a virtual costume contest and having a Halloween movie night with your household.

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