Arizona pediatrician recommends how to keep kids safe from COVID-19 this Halloween

Oct 27, 2021, 4:45 AM
(File photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)...
(File photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
(File photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — An Arizona pediatrician believes children can trick-or-treat and participate in other Halloween activities this year if they follow some precautions that’ll protect them from COVID-19.

“Halloween and trick-or-treating is on for this year,” said Dr. Sean Elliott, a Tucson-based pediatric infectious disease pediatrician. “But as much as possible, keep it outside and in small groups.”

He also recommended children practice good hand hygiene by washing their hands or using alcohol-based hand wipes after trick-or-treating.

“For those of us who will be putting out candy for the kids, we might even consider sitting back a little bit from the front door or the sidewalk with the offerings – candy, toys etc. – on a table in front of us,” Elliott added.

Another option would be to place the candy in bags on a table for the kids to pick up.

Elliott said kids should avoid indoor Halloween parties, especially if they’re unvaccinated or at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If they do attend one, he recommended they wear a mask, which he noted could be easily incorporated into a costume.

This year’s Halloween comes just before COVID-19 vaccines are available for young kids.

Earlier this month, Pfizer requested federal authorization to use its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. The drug company has also said the vaccine is 91% effective at one-third the adult dose and that no adverse side effects were found in clinical trials.

Federal regulators are expected to sign off on the vaccine, and shots could be administered starting early next month.

Moderna is also close to requesting authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for 6-to- 11-year-olds after clinical trials showed a strong immune response.

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Arizona pediatrician recommends how to keep kids safe from COVID-19 this Halloween