Halloween & COVID-19: Have Fun While Staying Safe

Choosing costumes, decorating pumpkins, and trick-o-treating brings joy to many children at Halloween. Halloween traditions will look different this year to keep everyone safe but there are still plenty of ways families can have fun while avoiding the scare of being exposed to or spreading the virus.

Depending on recommendations from public health, trick-or-treating may be discouraged or cancelled in some areas of the country this year. But that shouldn’t stop families from having fun. This could be a chance for you and your children to get creative, and maybe even invent some new traditions for your family! It’s also a great opportunity to model flexibility and a positive spirit. If you’re excited and make it fun, your kids will have fun, too.

More importantly, this is a good time to teach children the importance of protecting not just themselves but others, as well. The decisions we make on this one day can have a ripple effect beyond our own families. Finding safe ways to celebrate can create magical memories.

Why not have a family scavenger hunt and search for treats in your home? Maybe you can have a video chat with friends and family and show off your costumes and play games. Make your own treats at home with your family instead of going out or have a Halloween themed movie night marathon and dress as your favorite characters. And let’s not forget a tradition that’s as safe and fun as ever, decorating pumpkins.
If trick-or-treating is still on in your neighborhood, keep safe and remember to:

  • Avoid large groups or clustering at doorsteps or anywhere else.
  • Only go out with members of your direct household, remain within your community, and stay two metres (six feet) apart.
  • Both trick or treaters and people handing out candy should wear a non-medical mask or face covering. Remember, a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it hard to breathe. Tip: Consider building your face covering into your, or your child’s, costume.
  • Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps. Line up two metres apart if waiting.
  • Be respectful of households that are not handing out treats this year.

How much touching objects spreads the COVID-19 virus isn’t clear. But if your child will collect treats, you may want to wipe the packages or let them sit for a couple days before giving them to your child. And, of course, good hand hygiene like washing hands or using hand sanitizer before and after trick-or-treating is always a good idea!

Most importantly, keep doing what you have been doing: avoiding large gatherings, keeping a distance of 2 metres from others, wear mask or face coverings (think superhero!) in all common indoor spaces , and wash your hands often.

To help you plan a Spooktacular Halloween this year and keep everyone safe, below you find links to each province’s guidelines:

Alberta
https://www.alberta.ca/halloween-during-covid19.aspx

Nova Scotia
https://novascotia.ca/protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus/halloween/

Ontario
https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-celebrate-halloween-during-covid-19

Quebec
Check your local authorities for more information.