Wearing costumes, carving pumpkins, and trick-or-treating – these are just some of the fun activities that make Halloween a wildly popular tradition, especially for kids! This year, families are also thinking about how to safely take part in the celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It might feel tricky, but with a few changes, Halloween can still be a "treat."
Wash your hands. Stay home if sick.
No matter how you plan on celebrating this year, washing your hands is still one of the best ways to prevent spreading germs. Be sure to have kids wash their hands before and after going outside and eating. It can be easy to forget with all the excitement! As always, if you’re sick, it’s best to stay home – don’t give out candy, and choose to celebrate virtually this year.
Discover new, fun ways to celebrate
While trick-or-treating can be a fun part of Halloween, it’s only one aspect, and there are many ways to get in the festive spirit. Who knows, you may just discover a new favourite family Halloween tradition this year! Here are a few ideas:
- Borrow a Halloween-themed book from the library.
- Carve pumpkins with members of your household, and try roasting the pumpkin seeds for a tasty snack. For other delicious ways to prepare pumpkin, see dietitian Laurel’s blog: Pumpkin – more than a spooky decoration.
- Host a virtual costume party.
- Walk around your neighbourhood to admire Halloween decorations from a distance.
- Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt looking for a pumpkin, ghost, witch, and more.
- Have a Halloween-themed movie, games, or crafts night at home.
If you choose to go trick-or-treating this year:
- Stick to small groups and stay outdoors.
- Include a face mask or face covering as part of your costume – be creative!
- Bring hand sanitizer and use it often.
If you plan on handing out candy:
- Wear a face mask.
- Try using tongs or a candy “slide” to keep your distance.
- Hand out individual candy, instead of offering a shared bowl.
Stay safe on the roads
The usual Halloween road safety tips also apply. Keep your little “ghosts and gremlins” safe on the roads by wearing reflective clothing, crossing the road at intersections, and making eye contact with drivers before crossing. To learn more, check out these Drive Smart tips from ICBC.
Keep a sense of “normal”
Not trick-or-treating this year? If trick-or-treating is something that you usually do as a family, it can be helpful to keep a sense of “normal.” If possible, consider a candy hunt in your house or yard (think Easter egg hunt, but with Halloween candy). Try “reverse trick-or-treating” where a few family members or friends drop of some candy (from a distance). That way, kids don’t feel like they are missing out!
Stay calm and enjoy the candy
Parents and caregivers may be worried about kids eating too much candy on Halloween. But in fact, when we don’t make a big deal about it, Halloween candy can be a great opportunity for kids to learn to enjoy these foods as part of a normal, healthy eating pattern. For more tips on how to manage the Halloween “stash” check out: A dietitian’s take on the sticky topic of Halloween candy.
How do you plan on celebrating Halloween this year while keeping the COVID-19 guidelines in mind?
Learn more: BCCDC Halloween info page