Thursday, December 2, 2021

Simple safety tips after Fauci gave the go-ahead for Halloween in 2021

The air is getting colder, pumpkins are sitting on the porches, and children across the country are planning their creepy costumes. As a professor of pediatric nursing and a mom of four young children, I know the excitement and anxiety that a pandemic vacation brings to both children and parents.

Halloween 2020 has brought creative ways to cheat or heal while minimizing the spread of infection (candy catapult, anyone?). But since then, scientists have determined that the risk of transmitting COVID-19 through candy wrappers is low.

However, the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to show moderate to high infection rates in many parts of the country, and it continues to cause illness in children and adolescents at a higher rate than the dominant strain that ravaged the world in 2020. Parents may wonder if it’s safe to participate in Halloween games and fun or if they’d rather stay home this year.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said kids can really enjoy a safe and fun Halloween. But here are a few simple precautions that stunt enthusiasts can take.

In 2020, candy trays were a popular way to cheat or treat while maintaining social distance.
Amy Dilger / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

1. Disguise

Children under 12 are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which means that most children who go door-to-door are still at increased risk of contracting the virus.

Since COVID-19 spreads through the respiratory tract, masking remains an effective way to reduce the spread of infection for children 2 years of age and older. Unfortunately, Halloween masks do not replace masks designed to limit the spread of viral particles. Parents can get creative with making a face mask part of a child’s costume. Or children can wear a face mask under the mask of a costume. When choosing this option, parents should make sure that their child can breathe freely.

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Children and parents, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask when attending indoor parties or when going door to door due to close interactions with other people. Those distributing candy should also wear a face mask.

2. Keep your hands clean.

Washing your hands and using hand sanitizer remains a priority. While the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 through candy wrappers is relatively low, this risk is further reduced if you practice good hand hygiene before handing out candy.

[Get The Conversation’s most important coronavirus headlines, weekly in a science newsletter]

Children should wash their hands before eating candy in case they catch any germs while walking. The candy wrappers themselves are not considered contagious, so there is no need to quarantine the candy before consuming it.

3. Celebrate on the street

Other ways families can celebrate while maintaining low-risk status are by holding gatherings and events outside where people are less likely to catch the virus and keeping small groups.

Children who show signs of illness should be kept at home to rest and not expose others to their germs. People 12 years and older should be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect against serious infection.

It’s nice to look at the start of the 2021 holiday season with some semblance of normality. While the risk of COVID-19 is not entirely a thing of the past, families should happily treat or be treated with reasonable precautions.

This article is republished from – The Conversation – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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