Halloween During a Pandemic


Halloween Cookies

Although October 31st has yet to arrive, 2020 has felt spooky for the majority of the year. With Halloween coming up and the continuous spread of Covid-19, many families will find themselves with a difficult choice: to take part in trick-or-treating or to pass on this year’s festivities. Whatever you may decide, KCKPS has a few tips and tricks to help ease the anxiety of this holiday season.

Participating in traditional trick-or-treating:

Passing out Candy:

Although the CDC considers traditional trick-or-treating a high-risk activity, adjustments can be made to ensure the safety of everyone participating.

Passing out candy to trick-or-treaters during a pandemic may seem unsafe. However, there are plenty of creative ways to ensure everyone remains a safe social distance. For example, leaving the bowl of candy on the front porch. If you are worried about your candy stash running low to quickly, placing a fourth of the candy bag in the bowl at a time might help control this issue.

Another creative way to participate in trick-or-treating comes straight from the CDC’s website and is referred to as “one-way trick-or-treating”. This is when participants prep individually wrapped goodie bags for distribution. Prior to creating goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Once these bags are created, they should be lined out (not stacked in the same bucket) somewhere such as your front porch, or the bottom of your driveway. As the distributer of the goodie bags, you can remain a safe social distance (Inside behind your screen door or at the top of your driveway) from trick-or-treaters while still seeing their fun costumes.

Wearing a Costume and a Cloth Mask:

On October 31st, all of the ghosts, ghouls and goblins mask up and come out to scare. Unfortunately, these spooky masks do not scare off Covid-19 like they do humans. The CDC has recommended individuals should not substitute a costume mask for a cloth face covering.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on what type of mask your child should wear:

  • A costume mask should be avoided unless it is two or more layers of breathable fabric covering both the mouth and nose.
  • A costume mask should not be worn if coverage leaves gaps around the face.
  • A costume mask should not be worn over a cloth face covering due to potential difficulty to breath.
  • Consider using a Halloween themed face covering.
  • Consider allowing your child to decorate a plain colored mask to match their costume.

Alternative ways to celebrate Halloween other than traditional trick-or-treating:

Carving, Painting or Decorating Pumpkins:

Carving, painting and decorating pumpkins is considered to be a very low risk activity centered around Halloween. This activity can even be held safely with neighbors or friends when participating outdoors and remaining socially distant. Each group of individuals that live together should bring their own supplies. This includes whatever will be needed in order to complete the pumpkin.

Hosting Halloween Scavenger Hunts with those you live with:

There are several ways to go about planning a Halloween scavenger hunt. Of course, to keep this event as low risk as possible, it is recommended that only members of your household participate. These scavenger hunts can be a fun and safe alternative to traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating.

On option for a fun filled scavenger hunt is to create a list of spooky items that might be found outside. (House decorations such as witches, mummies, zombies and so much more.) While walking around the neighborhood looking at house decorations, your children can search for different items on their list.

Another scavenger hunt option is very similar to the idea of an Easter Egg hunt. Hide candy around your yard or the inside of your house and watch your kids explore. Both of these activities would be a great time to allow your child to dress up in their costumes.

As a parent or guardian, we all know that 2020 hasn’t been easy. Making the tough decision to participate or to not participate in traditional trick-or-treating is yet another hard choice we are all faced with. If you are still unsure on what to do, you can visit www.cdc.gov for more tips, tricks and ideas on hosting a successful and haunted Halloween. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out the Wyandotte Unified Government Public Health Department.

Free Flu Shots - Halloween - 721 N. 31st Street, KCK, 9am-12pm, and Trailridge Middle School in Shawnee, KS

Posted October 23, 2020




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