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Metro Vancouver parents open up about how they are handling Halloween

Last Updated Oct 28, 2020 at 8:30 am PST

FILE - People go trick or treating in the rain on Halloween in Ottawa, on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Summary

With Halloween approaching, some parents are mulling over whether to allow their kids to trick-or-treat or not this year

Parents in B.C. have been given the go-ahead to taken their children trick-or-treating with precautions amid COVID-19

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – What’s the trick to allowing your kids to get treats this Halloween amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

Many parents are weighing whether or not to allow children out to collect candy during the pandemic, despite being given the go-ahead — with precautions — from public health.

“We’ve decided to not go trick-or-treating with our kids, essentially because we’ve tried to keep a pretty tight bubble,” says Travis, a father of two young girls.

“It would open us up to a lot of interaction, going door-to-door and also having kids come to our door, so what we are doing is going over to some close friends of ours, who we’ve maintained interaction with throughout the lockdown. We are going to have a Halloween party with just the two sets of parents and two sets of kids.”

It’s not always easy to balance parental comfort levels with kids’ expectations, but Travis says his daughters have been taking it well.

“They understand. We had to cancel a trip to Disney World this summer and they get that we have to wear masks in public. I think they probably saw this coming.”

Hillary is allowing her four-year-old daughter to trick-or-treat, within limits.

“We keep it pretty small anyway, because it’s a lot to navigate all those sugared up kids, but we’re keeping it to kids within her bubble,” she tells NEWS 1130. “We’ll do ten houses and see how it is. We know that some people are just planning on leaving candy out, which is great. Maybe we will knock on a couple of house and just see how it goes while keeping our distance.”

However, she feels it will be somewhat of a letdown for her daughter.

“Last year there were so many community activities for this age-group. We’re trying to replicate that, actually doing socially-distanced crafts within our townhouse complex, getting the kids to interact and get that community vibe outside our doors before they go out trick-or-treating.”

Meanwhile, Tara Jean has no qualms about sending her son and daughter out on Halloween night.

“I’m definitely sending my kids trick-or-treating. I love Halloween, and we are going to do it as safely as we can, but what I think is interesting is that out of my daughters five friends, three of the families are not letting their kids go out,” she says.

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Robert is also comfortable taking his three children, between the ages of two and five, trick-or-treating this year.

“We are going to be taking extra precautions, like wearing gloves. Their costumes will have masks in them and we will be quarantining their candy,” he says. “The tricky part is that they can’t eat any of their candy while trick-or-treating but we will trade them out for other candy when they get home while the other candy sits under quarantine.”

Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, the acting chief medical officer for Fraser Health, says it is possible to take children out trick-or-treating in a safe way.

“Stay within your family group and practice good hygiene and physical distancing while collecting your candy,” she says.

“However we do not want to see Halloween parties and celebrations. We are asking people not to hold parties in their private residences.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has limited the number of people allowed to gather in private homes to immediate family plus their so-called “safe six” but has also given the go-ahead for trick-or-treating as long as it is done safely.

-With files from Amanda Wawryk