UVM Health Network

UVM Health Network Urges Safe Trick-or-Treating This Halloween

Follow these simple steps to ensure a safe holiday for all

Masked woman giving Halloween candy to child wearing a firefighter costume and a mask

BURLINGTON, Vt., - Halloween offers a chance for children and families to have fun together, and this year The University of Vermont Health Network is urging them to do so while following some safety precautions to reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Trick-or-treating in small groups is best to avoid spreading COVID-19. The virus is less likely to spread outside than in poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Maintaining a safe distance from others outside of your household or small group is also a good way to reduce risk. Make sure children avoid clustering in large groups at doorsteps or anywhere candy is handed out.

“I believe Vermont children can have a safe and fun Halloween despite the higher prevalence of COVID currently in the community. Most Halloween activities are outside and the outdoor environment poses low risk for COVID transmission. Families should feel comfortable participating in outdoor activities,” said Dr. Rebecca Bell, a pediatrician at The University of Vermont Medical Center. “Last year in Vermont there was an increase in COVID cases tracked to indoor Halloween gatherings, but we can reduce the risk by following simple steps.”

If you are planning to take children Trick-or-Treating, or planning to hand out candy at home, please follow these simple tips to stay safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Proper masks are a must

If children attend an indoor event or public festivities, make sure everyone wears face masks and maintains safe physical distancing. Masking indoors is important because children under 12 are not yet eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Follow these simple steps to reduce risk:

  • Incorporate a properly fitting cloth mask into costumes.
  • A costume mask is not a suitable substitute for a proper cloth mask.
  • Make sure children do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask as it can make breathing more difficult.
  • Masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing.

Handing out candy safely at home:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Hand out treats outdoors if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats or pieces of candy for kids to take.
  • Be sure to wash hands thoroughly before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

A few other basic safety precautions should also be followed. Make sure children are visible when out trick-or-treating and accompanied by an adult. The combination of dark costumes and nighttime can lead to accidents, so be sure to bring flashlights and be aware when crossing streets.

About The University of Vermont Health Network

The University of Vermont Health Network is an integrated system serving the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives. The partners are:

Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high-quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our affiliates remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.