Should kids trick-or-treat this year? Local doctors weigh in on Halloween festivities

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Kids across Western New York are getting ready to celebrate another Halloween amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but doctors have some good news to share. While some Covid-19 safety measures are still in place, they won’t discourage kids from going door-to-door this year.

Celebrations were altered last year. Face masks were incorporated into costumes, folks installed homemade candy delivery slides down porch railings, and creative give-a-ways substituted trick-or-treating. But Dr. Joseph Chow, the President of WNY Immediate Care, expects this year to be slightly different.

“I think this year is going to look better than last year, but it may not be completely like it was two years ago,” Chow said.

Chow says there still should be some safety practices in place like having a contact-free candy delivery service.

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“Instead of having a communal bag where everyone reaches in and uses their hands to grab the candy, maybe have something where parents can put it out separately,” suggested Chow.

Kids younger than 12 are not yet eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, but the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says that doesn’t mean the holiday is lost.

“Particularly if you’re vaccinated, but you can get out there — you’re outdoors for the most part,” said Fauci. “Enjoy it.”

Dr. Oscar Gomez with the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine says people should still avoid large gatherings like Halloween parties.

“Trick-or-treating will be fine. Holidays should be OK. It is, of course, very important that people who are not vaccinated should be wearing a mask,” said Gomez.

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The push for normalcy is what many are striving for, but doctors say there’s one way to get the holidays back to normal.

“We are stressing the primary vaccination series,” said Chow. “To get more people to get that, I think that will play the biggest role in making sure this holiday season is the safest it can be.”

Gomez says a new group of individuals could soon be eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine: Pfizer is waiting for approval of a modified vaccine for kids 5-11 years old.

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