Halloween tips: Act safely so it’s boo, not a boo-hoo

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — In preparation for Halloween trick or treaters, the 88th Mission Support Group has published guidelines for a safe and fun Trick-or-Treat experience on base.

“This year comes with additional safety guidelines due to COVID-19,” said Col. Paul Burger, 88th Mission Support Group commander. “In addition to the state of Ohio’s guidance we have developed guidelines for Wright-Patt housing community members.”

On top of ensuring a 6-foot distance between trick or treaters, parents should not utilize a shared community candy bowl. Instead it is strongly recommended that the goodies are prepackaged in individual goodie bags.

Additionally, parents can also place candy spaced apart on porch steps or hung from a wall or fence.

“It’s recommended people wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to and after preparing the bags of treats,” Burger explained. “The treats should be placed on a portable outdoor table spaced apart individually and not piled in little heaps.”

“Not everyone elects to participate,” Burger added. “Households that aren’t participating in trick-or-treating can turn their porch lights off to signal there’s no candy being passed out at your home.”

The Ohio Department of Health has provided the following recommendations to enhance family safety:

  • It is strongly recommended that hayrides and haunted houses be canceled/avoided.
  • Do not hold large in-person Halloween parties. If holding smaller parties, limit attendance to 50 or fewer people and hold the event in an outdoor area where social distancing is possible. Avoid activities, such as bobbing for apples that foster the spread of infection.
  • Trick or treat with only the members of your household.
  • Always wear a face covering, and stay 6 feet away from people who are not from your household, whether trick-or-treating, passing out treats, or attending attractions or events. Stay home if you are sick. (NOTE: Face coverings should never be placed on children younger than 2 or anyone who cannot easily remove them. Also remember costume masks are not a substitute for cloth masks.) In fact, the CDC recommends that trick-or-treaters wear a Halloween-themed cloth mask instead of a traditional costume mask this year.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
  • Avoid events that involve being crowded in a small area or coming into contact with or being touched by others.
  • Limit the number of houses you visit.
  • Wipe off candy wrappers with sanitizer when you get home; eat only factory-prepared treats and not homemade treats made by strangers.
  • Consider the people in your household who may be at greater risk of complications if COVID-19 is brought into the home, such as those with certain health conditions, women who are pregnant, or older family members.
  • If your child has health issues that put them at risk of health complications, check with their doctor prior to trick-or-treating.

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