Halloween

Halloween 2021: Is It Safe Yet?

One pediatrician mom shares her recommendations to make this holiday spooky and safe

Jack-o'-lantern wearing a face mask on Halloween night during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on October 31, 2020.
Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

As October approaches and families gear up to celebrating Halloween, parents are left wondering what Halloween 2021 will look like amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Is it safe to celebrate Halloween in the COVID-19 pandemic?

Last weekend, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said she is hopeful for Halloween 2021 when it comes to trick-or-treating.

“I wouldn’t necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups,” Walensky said on CBS’ 'Face the Nation.' “I hope that we can do that this year.”

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Is trick-or-treating safe this year?

Florida-based pediatrician and mom Dr. Mona Amin agreed.

"I think we are approaching a safer time than we have ever seen in this pandemic given vaccinations are increasing and cases continue to decline in most parts of the country," Amin told TODAY Parents. "If the positivity rate is low in your community and continues to decline approaching Halloween, I think it's safe for trick or treating this year with a few precautions. Perhaps individual bags to hand out versus children grabbing into a communal pot of candy."

A simple no-touch trick-or-treat option is a candy chute and parents looking to avoid traditional trick-or-treating altogether might consider a ghost hunt.

COVID-19 Halloween safety

Amin offered additional tips to make Halloween this year safer.

"Surrounding yourself with family and friends who are vaccinated are best if hosting a get-together," she explained. "Masks for kids older than two who are unvaccinated can also help and can double as being a part of a costume. If trick-or-treating, perhaps the adults can hand the candy to each other versus the child grabbing for it or considering individually wrapped bags."

Amin said indoor parties are "reasonable" if positivity rates are less than 5% in your community and if adults who are eligible are vaccinated.

"This will decrease your child's chances of getting COVID and still enjoying the holidays," Amin said.

The CDC recommends, "If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows."

Amin offered a final reminder for Halloween celebrations.

"I want to remind people that if they are unvaccinated, they are still at great risk of getting COVID and transmitting it to their unvaccinated child," Amin said. "So, we can still enjoy the Halloween festivities with precautions in place."

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