Safety tips for trick-or-treating this Halloween

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CHICAGO — City and state leaders are hoping it’s all treats and no tricks this Halloween weekend as they outline safety guidelines for families.

Safety guidelines were released earlier this month, before the start of the second surge of COVID-19. But health officials still stand behind them, saying there are safe ways to celebrate Halloween.  

Families are hoping to have some fun this Halloween – even with the pandemic happening.

City leaders laid out the following guidelines for Halloween in this video. They’re the same rules released weeks ago. But with COVID-19 cases on the rise — people are asking if it’s still safe to trick or treat. 

Dr. Poj Lysouvakon is a pediatrician at University of Chicago Medicine. 

He doesn’t recommend traditional trick-or-treating where people go door to door, taking candy directly from strangers. He said there is always a risk, and that there’s no such thing as zero risk.

“What might be a little safer is having a neighbor or a household place a table in front of their house and have individually bags wrapped so kids can just grab and go,” he said.

Another idea? Candy chutes to deliver treats. This limits interactions between people. It’s also important to wear a mask at all times — a real one, not just your costume. Keeping your distance from others and hand sanitizing are also strongly encouraged. 

“Please remember this virus doesn’t make exceptions for holidays or because you want to take a break from it,” Gov. JB Pritzker said.

You’ll want to take some precautions when you get home too. 

There’s no need to disinfect each candy wrapper, but make sure you wash your hands before and after indulging in some sweet treats. 

“Currently, there’s no evidence that the virus that causes COVID can be spread by touches surfaces. That being said you do want to wash your hands before opening your candy and after your done eating and throwing away the wrappers,” Lysouvakon said.

If you aren’t trick-or-treating, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at home. You can carve pumpkins, watch a scary movie, or hide candy around the house for kids to find. 

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