Trick or treat or stay home? Take precautions and go for it.
Next week will bring the second consecutive pandemic Halloween, a time when parents might be wondering just how careful they need to be when their children embark on their annual candy hunt.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that trick-or-treating is safe especially for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Of course, a vaccine hasn’t yet been approved for young children, but he suggested going door to door still can be done safely.
“You can get out there. You’re outdoors for the most part,” Dr. Fauci said. “Enjoy it. This is a time that children love.”
Dr. Frank Belmonte, chief medical officer for Advocate Children’s Hospital, said extra precautions that kids can take include wearing masks while out and about and going door-to-door in smaller groups of friends they already are in contact with every day. Also, avoiding crowded indoor parties can help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Kids who are in school are familiar with all these precautions by now because they do these things every day in class,” Dr. Belmonte said. “Maybe skip bobbing for apples in a communal bucket, but otherwise children can be pretty safe this Halloween.”
COVID-19 caseloads and hospitalizations in Illinois and Wisconsin have been trending downward recently, but experts are remaining vigilant and watching for the potential for rising numbers as the weather gets cooler. Vaccines, when available, remain the best way to guard against serious illness. That includes flu shots.
This isn’t the first time Dr. Fauci has weighed in on holiday safety, telling kids last year that “I vaccinated Santa Claus myself.”
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.