SAN ANTONIO – Just like the rest of 2020, Halloween will look and feel different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Halloween gatherings, such as carnivals and parties, are not recommended, and even the typical trick-or-treating tradition is undergoing some safety changes. UT Health San Antonio Pediatrics produced a video showing school children some suggested alterations for the holiday.
Dr. Tess Barton, the chief pediatric infectious disease specialist at UT Health San Antonio, says there is a way to put COVID-19 safety guidelines to work on this holiday.
“If you’re going to go as a kitty cat instead of painting your face, you know, you wear a mask that’s got the kitty cat face on it, or you can put the bunny ears over your face shield,” Barton said.
She said the problem with face paint is that it can be itchy, so kids will tend to rub their mouths and hands, potentially spreading contamination. While Halloween masks provide some protection, if they have an opening at the mouth, you’ll still need to add a filtering mask underneath that covers your nose and mouth.
Barton also recommends going big when it comes to costumes to ensure a natural social distance.
“Things that have wings or things that have a big princess hoop skirt, or, like, a robot costume made of boxes are good. Something that’s bulky actually keeps other people away from you,” she said.
Barton recommends inflatable costumes, which provide a good barrier between kids, as well.
Other recommendations include making sure kids sanitize their hands between house visits and to have a safe six feet behind other groups at homes getting treats.
For adults participating in Halloween, sanitizing between visitors is a good idea. It’s also recommended that one adult hand the treats and physically place them into the child’s bag.
“Be sure that you’ve sanitized your hands after that because there may have been hundreds of other little hands inside that same bucket,” Barton said.
She also suggested people place treats at a table in front of their door to separate from the trick-or-treaters.
To see the full video of Halloween tips from UT Health Pediatrics, click here.