Is It Safe To Go Trick-Or-Treating This Halloween?

Halloween is back this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the CDC advised against going trick-or-treating in October 2020 due to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recommendations have been modified for 2021.

According to CDC director Rochelle Walensky, it's relatively safe to go trick-or-treating this Halloween. "I wouldn't necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups," Walensky said on CBS' "Face the Nation" (via USA Today). However, it's still important to take preventative measures to help protect children from COVID-19 while they're having fun trick-or-treating.

Although COVID-19 cases have started to decline across the country, the delta variant still remains highly transmissible, especially among those who are unvaccinated, which includes children aged 11 and under. That's why it's essential to follow some basic safety precautions in order to help ensure the health and safety of unvaccinated children on Halloween.

Take precautions while trick-or-treating

Ultimately, it's up to each individual family to decide what level of risk they consider to be reasonable, Dr. Jean Moorjani, a board-certified pediatrician at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital, told PopSugar. If the vaccination rate in your community is high and the transmission rate is low, you may feel more comfortable about trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, especially with important precautionary measures in. place. The CDC advises children to "make [a] cloth mask part of your costume," as a regular costume mask "is NOT a substitute for a cloth mask."

Dr. Moorjani agrees. "A lot of us are used to wearing masks already, so maybe this Halloween, kids can decorate one of their masks and have that be a part of their costume," she told PopSugar. "Parents should also bring flashlights, glow sticks, or any reflective material, so that they're visible if they're trick-or-treating after dark." Although surface transmission is low, you might want to avoid going to houses that give out candy directly to trick-or-treaters. Going to houses with bowls of candy outside may be more sanitary, and even then anyone taking candy should sanitize their hands before and after.