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December 31, 2020

Halloween During a Global Pandemic.

A Pediatrician’s perspective on Halloween during COVID-19.

By: Dr. Lisa Di Enno, MD, FAAP

Despite all of our wishes, it looks like COVID-19 is going to be around a while. And, since Halloween is right around the corner, changes should be made to keep kids – and families – safe while still enjoying the holiday. Let’s take a look at how we can make the day fun for kids without compromising safety.

You will want to take into consideration how COVID-19 is spread from one person to the next. This can happen through respiratory droplets that land on surfaces or float through the air. For instance, when someone coughs, sneezes, or screams loud in a haunted house. If the germs find their way to various surfaces and you or your kids touch them, the virus can enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, etc.

Whether you have symptoms or you don’t, you can significantly reduce the transmission of the virus by wearing a mask. And, no, we aren’t talking about the Freddy Krueger type. So, don your mask and find something fun and spooky to do.

Wait – not sure what to do? Well, first – check with your local authorities. Many local communities are setting up modified activities and/or putting rules or guidelines in place. Before you make any concrete plans, get informed!

Low-Risk Halloween Activities

  • Carve pumpkins at home with your immediate family.
  • Have a trick or treat scavenger hunt around the house for your kids.
  • Go for a drive to check out Halloween decorations.
  • Drive through a haunted house! Boo!

Moderate-Risk Halloween Activities

  • Go trick or treating in the neighborhood. This involves getting more outsiders together and touching different surfaces (including the candy.)
  • Visit a local outdoor pumpkin patch – but do so just to get pumpkins.

High-Risk Halloween Activities

  • Halloween parties. Having a room full of kids (and/or adults) at a party with no masks is a very risky activity and is ideal for a COVID-19 super-spreader.
  • Pumpkin patches. These often have photo ops, hayrides, face painting, bounce houses, and more. Despite being outdoors, it is often difficult to sanitize and social distance. Not an ideal activity for the family.
  • Haunted houses. Thanks to screaming and yelling (spraying COVID-19 droplets everywhere) and close encounters due to scary situations, this is a definite activity to avoid this Halloween.

You and your family can still have some spooky fun this Halloween while staying safe and healthy. Just tweak your normal plans or create new traditions. And, who knows – the outcome of your Halloween in 2020 could leave you with some incredible memories that you adopt for years to come!

COVID-19 is scary and can leave us with a lot of questions. If you need to talk to someone or are concerned that your child may be experiencing symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician. Click here to book a telemedicine appointment with XpertCare today!

Dr. Lisa Di Enno is the Chief Medical Officer at XpertCare Pediatric Digital Clinic. You can contact her at  or text her at 760.696.0601 to schedule an appointment.