Bibb County Georgia health local Macon

Safety tips for Halloween trick or treating

MACON, Georgia (KBTV)- As the COVID-19 pandemic persists this season, pediatricians from Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital offer tips to help keep kids safe this Halloween.

Dr. Katherine Duncan, director of Pediatric Advocacy and Global Health at Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital says, “The safest Halloween activities will take place in the open air, where participants can socially distance at least 6 feet from persons outside of your household. We also encourage all eligible adults and children 12 years and older to get vaccinated.”

Pediatricians recommend the following tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19 this Halloween:

• Trick-or-treat with those in your household and stay at least 6 feet apart from trick-or-treaters who do not live in your household. • Treat givers should avoid direct physical contact with trick-or-treaters. • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before handling treats.

• Instead of handing out treats, create individual treat bags and set up an outdoor station for children to take their own bag. Or, create a candy chute to deliver candy to trick-or-treaters.

• Wear a cloth mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times.

Pediatricians also encourage you to remember common-sense advice for every Halloween: • Supervise young children for trick-or-treating.

• If teens plan to go out on their own, review their route in advance and agree on a specific time to return home. • Cross streets at the corners, looking both ways before crossing. Obey traffic signals and remain within crosswalks. • Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective stickers, lights or glow sticks. Have children carry flashlights. • Make sure costumes fit appropriately to avoid trips and falls. Select fire-resistant costumes, wigs and accessories. • Inspect all treats before consuming them to ensure wrappers are sealed and have not been tampered with. Do not accept homemade treats.

• It’s okay for parents to limit how much candy kids eat in one setting. • Make sure any seasonal movies or games are age-appropriate to avoid unnecessary nightmares and anxiety in younger children. • Teens and tweens may experience peer pressure to play pranks or misbehave during Halloween. Consider reviewing your expectations of behavior — and any consequences for breaking rules — prior to the holiday.

Those who may not feel comfortable trick-or-treating this year don’t have to miss out on the fun. Try thefollowing trick-or-treat alternatives:

• Decorate your home as a family. Invite neighbors to compete in a decorating contest.

• Hold a neighborhood parade outdoors so everyone can show off their costume while maintaining social distancing. • Visit a pumpkin patch. Carve pumpkins with the members of your household, or outside with friends and neighbors. • Go on an outdoor, Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. • Have a spooky movie marathon with members of your household. Let each member choose a movie.

• Hide Halloween treats around your home and have a treat hunt with members of your household.

“Although we need to adjust the way we celebrate this year, there are still plenty of opportunities to have a fun and safe holiday. It’s important to create as much normalcy for children as possible, while also taking steps to protect them from COVID-19. We encourage people to follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and get creative in order to celebrate safely,” said Dr. Edward Clark, medical director for Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital.

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