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You Can Celebrate Halloween with Your Kids, With a Few Adjustments, Local Pediatrician Says

While Halloween is not canceled this year, parents will need to take extra precautions for their young trick-or-treaters this spooky season, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill says.

“Kids of all ages look forward to this time of year, and thankfully, many traditions can still happen with some key adjustments,” said Dr. Teena John, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill. “Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to maintain social distance and wear a mask, even under a costume mask. Avoid gathering with people outside your household and wash hands often and definitely before eating candy.”

While the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends planning safe events at home, there are steps you can take to celebrate in public. Check out these tips to keep your ghosts, witches and little pumpkins safe: 

Trick-or-Treating: Stay outside. Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer and use it frequently. Trick-or-treat in small numbers, preferably with your household members only. Don’t allow your child to rummage through a candy bowl. Candy should be prepackaged and distributed on an individual basis. Avoid crowds and be vigilant to maintain social distance on sidewalks between groups. Remember that a costume mask is not designed for germ prevention. Wear a proper face covering at all times.

Pumpkin Patches and Orchards: Cute family pictures await, but remember to use hand sanitizer before and after touching pumpkins, apples or other produce. Attend with people from your own household and wear masks and maintain social distancing when around other visitors. 

Trunk-or-Treat Events: Rated in the high-risk category, these popular events require more diligence to maintain safety measures. Check with organizers ahead of time to make sure cars or tables are set up at least six feet apart. Timed entry is best to avoid crowds. Candy should be prepackaged and distributed to each individual by someone wearing gloves.

Haunted Houses: Got teens? Unfortunately, scream-worthy haunted houses are not allowed in Illinois this year. Consider open-air, one-way haunted walks through a well-mapped out corn maze or wooded area. Remember to maintain social distance and wear masks to contain any yelling or screaming.

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