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Trick-or-Treat 2020: How to Safely Hand Out Candy Amid Coronavirus

Halloween is scary enough — these tips can help you avoid COVID-19
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One of the best parts about Halloween for children and adults is trick-or-treating. For kids, it means a giant bag full of the best Halloween candy in a matter of hours. For adults, it means seeing all of those cute (and creepy) costumes. But, for 2020, trick-or-treating may look a little different due to the coronavirus pandemic. How can adults safely hand out candy so that this special holiday is still enjoyable for everyone?

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified traditional trick-or-treating, where candy is handed to children who go door-to-door, as a higher risk activity. Trunk-or-treats, where treats are handed out from cars in parking lots, is also a higher risk activity. But one-way trick-or-treating, where individually-wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab, is only a moderate risk activity.

According to Dr. Amyna Husain, a physician in pediatric emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins who specializes in disaster preparedness, trick-or-treating is not a lost cause. 

Dr. Husain’s first recommendation is sorting your candy into small, zip-top baggies and putting them out so all those little goblins and ghouls can grab one, put it in their pillowcase or plastic pumpkin bucket and move on. 

“Have candies — or whatever people choose to put out — out on the doorstep in small quantities that people can take,” Husain said. “That Ziploc of treats to-go would be good instead of having a full bowl, and having a kid put their hand in a full bowl after another kid puts their hand in that full bowl and continuing to spread the virus.”

Dr. Husain also recommends putting out a bottle of hand sanitizer next to your baggies of treats, considering hand hygiene is incredibly important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

And just because you aren’t physically handing out Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and SweeTarts to kids doesn’t mean you can’t safely social distance and see all of those superheroes and creepy clowns.

“For people in the homes giving out treats, it’s always wonderful to be able to see kids dressed up,” she said. “If they can do that from behind a storm door with glass, that’ll be safer. They’ll be able to wave or see the kids but not expose themselves.” You can also set up a table in your driveway with the bagged treats and sit 6 feet back.

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Of course, there are other important things to consider when handing out candy or trick-or-treating this Halloween. It’s incredibly important to wear a face mask properly, to practice social distancing and to keep your hands clean. Not sure how to do that? Halloween doesn’t have to be scary with this guide on how to trick-or-treat safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.