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Pediatrician explains how to trick-or-treat safely this year

Will you trick or treat this year?
Posted at 11:19 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 11:19:35-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The debate about whether or not families will trick or treat on Halloween has already begun on social media.

Iael Nuchovich has a 3-year-old and a baby.

“I’m not going to let the 3-year-old go trick or treating this year,” she said. “My opinion is it comes every year, and it will be there next year.”

Jamie Estrada has two teenagers.

“I’m of the opinion our kids have had a lot to deal with, and it’s a little different I guess,” she said. “I still think they need a sense of normalcy in this time of kind of chaos.”

Dr. Celina Moore, a pediatrician with West Boca Medical Center said if you are planning on partaking, follow the rules.

“The outdoor nature of Halloween is conducive to social distancing and keeping safe, and the idea of traveling in a small group of kids,” she said.

Dr. Moore addressed the concerns about candy wrappers.

“The candy wrappers have a very low risk of transmitting the virus,” she said. “If you sanitize candy wrappers, it is unknown whether those chemicals can seep into the candy.”

She recommended putting the candy away for a couple of days if you are concerned. Dr. Moore said both trick or treaters and those handing out candy should be masked.

“The primary mode of transmission of this virus is not through surfaces, it’s close personal contact,” she said. “That is defined as face-to-face for more than 10-15 minutes, less than 6 feet apart without any facial coverings.”

She said to consider leaving out goody bags instead of a bowl of candy.

“Just leaving the basket outside,” said Dr. Moore. “I’m not that worried about the candy part of it. What I am worried about is the large gatherings and who you are trick or treating with.”

She suggested a very small group. Also, make sure to keep your distance from other groups .

“Know the neighborhoods you are going to be going to,” said Dr. Moore. “Know what the transmission is like. If there are any spikes in the area.”

If you’re opting out this year, Dr. Moore said really consider if what you are doing is safer.

“An indoor gathering is much riskier than a small outdoor,” she said.