Those candy canes that some used to safely cheat or treat last Halloween may be a thing of the past.
“You could definitely use your candy funnel if you felt like you needed to, but I think there are a lot of other good options this year,” says Dr. Julie Holland, a pediatrician with the Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance.
While the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, Dr. Holland that an option we have this year is a vaccine for everyone 12 years and older.
“First, get the vaccine,” said Dr. Holland. “If you’re 12 and older and you haven’t had the vaccine yet, it’s a really good time to get it to protect yourself and your family.”
While many families await a decision from the FDA regarding the Pfizer vaccine for the 5-11 age group, Dr. Holland that the timing doesn’t allow that younger age group to be fully vaccinated by Halloween.
“Everyone is still hopeful that sometime around mid to late October, the 5- to 11-year-olds will be okay to get the vaccine. Remember, of course, that you’re not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second dose, so there is no way that the 5 to 11 year olds will be fully vaccinated, but hopefully they will have started the process by Halloween,” said Dr. Holland.
dr. Holland said that where transmission speeds are slow, this Halloween you can go back to trick or treating the old-fashioned way, with a few tweaks.
She advises families to remain socially distancing and to stay in small groups. She encourages adults who hand out candy to wear a mask and consider going outside to hand out candy.
When kids are outside, Dr. Holland, children, even unvaccinated, can wear their Halloween masks instead of face coverings if they remain socially distancing. However, families should avoid indoor, unmasked parties.
“We don’t want people congregating inside, eating and drinking. That’s, we know, a big risk factor for COVID,” said Dr. Holland.
dr. Holland said outdoor activities like Halloween parades, apple picking, corn mazes and haunted trails are a completely safe way to party.