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How to Have a Happy Healthy Halloween During a Pandemic

  • author name Lindsay Pringle, M.Ed
Halloween Pumpkins

This fall is unlike any we've ever experienced. Families are thinking about Halloween plans and wondering how to celebrate safely. Many of your favorite Halloween activities are perfectly safe to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others require a new twist. Read on for ways to make the holiday both fun and safe.

Traditions to Keep

Many of your favorite Halloween activities are perfectly safe to do during the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can carve or decorate pumpkins with your family, watch scary movies at home, and decorate your house with spooky decorations.  All of those activities can be done while keeping a safe distance from others and don’t put you at greater risk for COVID-19.

Old Favorites with a New Twist

If you would normally host a Halloween party, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 spreads most easily in crowded indoor places when people are in close contact.  For a safer option, you could consider planning a small outdoor gathering with your neighbors, such as an outdoor movie night or a haunted forest in your yard.  If everyone stays 6 feet apart and wears a cloth face mask for a small outdoor gathering, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is low. If your friends or neighbors are over 65 or at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, you could consider getting together virtually for a costume contest or ghost stories over Zoom.  

Trick or Treat Safely

Traditional trick or treating, where children go door-to-door in groups with friends, is a higher-risk activity for spreading COVID-19.  Be sure to check your local government’s policies first. If it is allowed and your kids do want to go out trick-or-treating, they should go with family members only, wear face masks, and keep 6 feet away from others.  If you choose to give out treats, here are some fun and safe ways:

  • Make individually-wrapped treat bags and line them up for families to grab and go at the end of your driveway or on your front steps.  
  • Hang treat bags or pieces of candy from a large tree in your yard for kids to choose from. 
  • Create a game by adding a decorated tube to the railing of your front stairs and slide treats into kids’ treat buckets. 

Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing any treats.

Plan a Healthy Celebration

Some health and safety tips for Halloween never change. If kids are outdoors after dark, add reflective tape to their clothes, and carry a light to make sure they are visible to cars. When trick-or-treating, stay on sidewalks or follow the rules of the road for bicycles, and avoid busy streets. Consider handing out toys and games and allergy-friendly options for kids who have dietary restrictions, and encourage kids to eat healthy meals as usual before digging into their candy stash.

author name

Lindsay Pringle, M.Ed

Lindsay Pringle, M.Ed, is a Health Promotion Specialist in Community Health. Lindsay coordinates initiatives to promote the health, safety and well-being of children and adolescents in the community. She holds a master’s degree in education from Millersville University and a bachelor's of science degree in Kinesiology from Penn State University.

Call: 717-544-3138

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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