ST. LOUIS – Is it safe yet for kids to go trick or treating during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Dr. Marya Strand, chief medical officer at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, said that COVID hasn’t gone away but kids can go trick-or-treating with a few precautions.
Doctors say kids should be able to go trick or treating safely outdoors in small groups but they should avoid crowded indoor parties.
“Of all the holidays, Halloween is pandemic friendly. It’s an outdoor holiday, kids can go outside. They’re going to often be wearing a mask anyway,” Strand said.
She said the Delta variant of the coronavirus has been particularly tough on kids, so to stop the spread, social distancing, wearing a mask, and the frequent use of hand sanitizers on Halloween is very important.
It’s recommended that kids stay with family and friends who are vaccinated. And those who will be handing out candy need to take precautions as well.
“Wearing a mask when you answer the door is really important. Feel free to distribute candy. I would also encourage that if you’re reaching out and admiring costumes or shaking hands of other parents keep hand sanitizer close by for you as well you need to keep yourself safe and help keep your community safe,” Strand said.
She encourages children over age 12 to get the COVID vaccine. No vaccine is available yet for children under 12, but the Pfizer company is waiting on FDA approval for its vaccine for children ages 5-11.
The FDA may make a decision on the vaccine by the middle of this month.