How to survive a COVID Halloween

  • Added precautions don't mean your family has to completely miss out on the spooky fun this Halloween.

    Added precautions don't mean your family has to completely miss out on the spooky fun this Halloween.

By Timothy A. Nelson
Amita Health
Updated 10/25/2020 10:25 AM

Halloween has never been so frightening. With the added precautions of the pandemic this year, trick-or-treating, haunted houses and other Halloween staples will look much different.

But the added precautions don't mean your family has to completely miss out on the spooky fun.


According to Jackie Rhew, licensed therapist and clinical liaison with Amita Health Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital Hoffman Estates, there are still ways kids can stay safe while celebrating.

"This year, we've learned to think differently in almost everything we do," Rhew said. "Celebrating holidays and commemorating special events have been particularly challenging."

Rhew said she's received questions from many parents who are wondering what Halloween will look like this year. Typically a children's holiday symbolic of spending time with friends, expressing themselves through colorful and frightening costumes and, of course, lots of treats and fun games, there's no getting around the fact that, while things may look different, there are lots of ways to celebrate the holiday.

"I've encouraged parents to show enthusiasm for the new plans and ideas, as well as sympathize with their children if they are experiencing sadness because certain things can't happen this Halloween. This is a great chance to teach kids to bounce back and that new can be fun and exciting."

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Rhew says some suggestions for a COVID Halloween include:

• Decorating the house and yard, including your children in the planning and execution

• Holding virtual costume contests with friends and family

• Making fun Halloween foods and treats to celebrate all week long

• Planning a car parade through the neighborhood, so kids can show off their costumes safely

• Placing lots of wrapped treats in your open vehicle trunk, allowing kids to pick them up from a safe social distance

"We're also encouraging kids to donate small Halloween gift bags with wrapped goods to children's hospitals or other agencies serving children to make their Halloween brighter," she said. "This is a good way to teach children the importance of supporting one another and giving back."

• Children's health is a continuing series. This week's article is courtesy of Amita Health.

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