Trick or Treating in a Post-COVID World

trick or treating

For the past few years, ghosts and goblins haven’t been the scariest part of Halloween. It’s been the ghoul of COVID. For many kids, this will be their first full-bore experience of trick or treating. Use these tips to help them have the best spooky season they’ve ever had.

1. Lay out trick or treating guidelines

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Lots of kids have been told to keep their distance as much as possible over the past two years. Additionally, the marching order for many has been to reduce exposure to people you don’t know and mask up.

Other than mask wearing, trick or treating flies in the face of that conditioning, which can be a little scary (in the wrong ways).

To help kids have the best time they can during this time-honored tradition, give them some guidelines, like the following.

  • Assure them that taking candy from neighbors is totally OK on Halloween.
  • Let them know that they’re allowed to be around other kids, since that’s part of what makes trick or treating fun.
  • It’s tradition to TP and egg the houses that hand out toothbrushes or pennies. (Just kidding. But if you’re one of these houses, don’t be?)

While these guidelines might seem weird to many of us—since trick or treating never had a pandemic behind it for most of us—it’s important to reassure trick or treaters that yes, it is normal and yes, it can be fun!

2. Stay safe while having fun

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Safety is always key to a happy Halloween. If you’re chaperoning, give your group basic safety tips.

  • Hold onto railings and be careful walking up and down stairs, especially if they’re dressing as a spooky ghost or other creature that has clothes that are easy to trip on.
  • Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible and avoid busy streets, especially at dusk and night.
  • Check the candy before the kids eat it, especially if it isn’t prepackaged.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Even if the worst effects of COVID are waning, fall is prime time for cold and flu viruses.

On the flip side, if you’re handing out goodies this Halloween, be conscious of other people’s comfort. For example, if you see trick or treaters (and their chaperones) wearing medical masks, consider having a stash of candy that only you’ve touched and placing candy in their bag instead of offering to let them take it from a bowl.

3. Remember to have fun

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Kids have had a rough go at life over the past two years, especially because of separation from friends and social events. Halloween is a good time for these kids to let loose and be kids again. As adults, it’s important for us to remind them that Halloween is indeed fun.

This year, Halloween falls on a Monday. For the youngest trick or treaters, that might mean that you need to prepare them for the big day after work. While this can sometimes be frustrating, it’s important to not get frazzled. Take your time and do you best to get them ready for an evening of fun.

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