Kaiser Permanente Urges Safe Halloween Celebrations During Pandemic

South San Francisco, CA  October 27, 2020 Submitted by Matt Skryja, Kaiser Permanente

Doctor Offers Tips to Parents on How to Keep Children Safe


Halloween is traditionally a time when little ghouls and goblins go door to door across the Bay Area seeking out sweet treats and trying to spook their friends. A real-life scare has doctors suggesting parents be especially careful when it comes to Halloween celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


“These are challenging times, and with that comes a responsibility to take extra precautions to protect our children’s health,” said Cecilia Gonzalez, MD, a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. “That means we need to be more creative in how we celebrate Halloween this year, without putting our health or the health of our children at risk.”


Parents should consider lower-risk and safe alternatives to traditional trick-or-treat activities this year. They include the following:

  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going from house to house
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space


Children and adults are also advised against participating in higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Types of discouraged activities include the following:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19



“It’s best not to participate in traditional trick-or treat activities this year, as it can be difficult to maintain proper physical distancing at front doors and on crowded sidewalks,” Gonzalez said. “The bottom line is, the coronavirus is still out there, and we cannot let our guard down. By taking simple precautions, we can ensure that our children can still enjoy the holiday in a way that is safer for everyone involved.”



About Kaiser Permanente

For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. http://about.kaiserpermanente.org


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