Doctor recommends parents clean candy packaging for trick-or-treaters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading COVID-19, according to the CDC.

Dr. Jennifer Chapman with Orange Park Medical Center said there isn’t a one size fits all with how you choose to celebrate Halloween this year, but if you and your family decide to celebrate the day there are a few reminders to maximize your health and safety.

“Rummaging hands through candy bowls, not a good idea. Kids eating candy along with the trick or treat route, probably not a good idea as well. When you bring the candy home, it’s relatively easy to kind of spray it down on the outside packaging with some hand sanitizer. That shouldn’t cause a breakdown of the packaging and shouldn’t cause any health risks to children,” said Dr. Jennifer Chapman.

Chapman said some of the biggest risks this Halloween are who you trick or treat with. It is recommended to limit your group to just your family or three to four other children at the most.

Health officials remind families that trick or treat exchanges at houses need to be brief and socially distanced. In addition to these tips, it is encouraged that you use hand sanitizer or wash your hands frequently while trick or treating.

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Do not eat the candy while out, wait until you make it home and can properly clean the candy and its packaging.

Wear a mask, you can make it part of your costume and avoid direct contact with other trick or treaters.

“Each family needs to determine the risk-benefit of celebrating Halloween. If you’re in a relatively low-risk situation and you really want to celebrate Halloween, you can do it safely. You just have to put more thought and planning into it this year, than you would have to do last year. And if the thought of trick or treating and the risk of covid-19 causes too much stress and anxiety and it’s too overwhelming and doesn’t make sense for your family then skip it,” said Dr. Chapman.

The CDC is expected to release additional guidelines as more holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Día de los Muertos, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s approach.

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