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Tucson pediatrician says there are many ways to celebrate Halloween safely

GALLERY: Halloween 2017
Posted at 6:16 AM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 12:04:25-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Costumes, candy and trick-or-treating look different during a pandemic. Many families are trying to find ways to celebrate Halloween safely this year.

"Are we going to pass out candy or are we not passing out candy? Are the kids safe to go trick or treating? Those are some of the biggest questions. Everyone is up in the air right now.” These are some of the many questions from parents like, Mrs. Serrano, surrounding Halloween.

"This year I would encourage to be different," said Pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Altomare. She advises families to get creative.

"Doing things like Halloween Easter egg hunts for instance. Either in the house or outside. We're blessed with fantastic weather here in Tucson for Halloween, usually.” Dr. Altomare also said you can even utlize Zoom. “Plan Zoom parties either with family and friends. Even doing movie nights with friends over Zoom where everyone starts a movie at the same time, so kids still get to celebrate and watch movies together is a great idea.”

If families still decide to go trick or treating, remember this. “Really important to do so in small groups and make sure to avoid the crowd around the doors where all the kids stand up on each other," Dr. Altomare.

Then there’s the best part, the candy! Dr. Altomare recommends kids and parents wait till they get home to dig into the treats. "Best thing to do is wipe it down with some sort of disinfectant. The other thing is making sure you are washing your hands frequently and washing them well when you get home.”

If you want to hand out candy, think about going beyond your doorstep."Set up a table outside where you can stand on side of the table and hand out candy out to kids on the other side of the table. Along with that, maybe consider instead of a bowl of candy that kids all reach their hands into, to individually prepackage candy.”

As kids are dressing up in their Halloween best, don't forget the mask behind the mask. "If you have a costume with a full face mask, most of them are going to have an opening for the mouth. That's not going to provide any protection, so I would make sure to wear a cloth mask cloth face covering under that.”

While there may be some changes to the spooky holiday, families can still have fun. "Depending on how we feel about them going out that’s still up in the air we don’t know yet there’s a huge possibility that we are going to dress up our husband and i were going to go to each room of the house and have them go around and knock around," said Mrs. Serrano.