With the right precautions, families can still enjoy Halloween – even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what medical experts from Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care want spooky revelers to know for a safe Halloween.
“The safest Halloween is spent at home,” said Dr. J.D. Zipkin the chief medical officer at Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care.
But if plans include venturing out, if anyone in the family feels ill, it’s best that everyone in the household stay home.
“No matter how much you want to trick-or-treat, if you’re feeling ill, everyone in your household really needs to isolate at home for the duration of the illness – for a minimum 10 days from onset,” Dr. Zipkin said.
Dr.Zipikn offered these age-appropriate trick-or-treating guidelines.
“Give your older children hand sanitizer, and teach them when and how to use it,” Dr. Zipkin said. That includes teaching kids to sanitize hands after touching objects or other people.
“With younger kids, parents should do most of the candy handling, and touchpoints, because these children are too young to independently manage these important safety measures on their own,” Dr. Zipkin said.
Proper mask-wearing is a must.
“Halloween masks do not count as safety masks – no matter what the costume is, wear a proper face mask,” Dr. Zipkin said.
And don’t plan on eating the candy right away.
“As tempting as it is to dive into your candy, we suggest letting it sit for at least three days before anyone touches it,” Dr. Zipkin said. “This means collecting the bounty and letting it sit for 72 hours. Why? The virus isn’t known to stay alive on surfaces past that timeframe – this is an easy way to reduce the spread of germs.”
But for parents who independently open the collected treats, “ensure that the candy doesn’t touch the outside wrapper – then wash hands thoroughly,” Dr. Zipkin said.
With these trick-or-treating tips, families can help everyone stay safe this Halloween.
All Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers provide services to children who are six months and older. And with virtual visits, families can connect with a Cohen Children’s Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care pediatric provider from the comfort of their homes. Most Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care locations are open extended hours from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends and are open all holidays – 365 days a year. For more information, visit gohealthuc.com.