The state of Illinois released new health guidelines for those looking to celebrate Halloween in a safe manner this fall, but there is one very important thing to keep in mind if your little ones are getting ready to trick-or-treat.
During an availability Wednesday, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, cautioned residents that if their children are going to wear costumes and go trick-or-treating this fall, they have to be aware that their costume mask will not protect them in the same way that other facial coverings will.
“Whether a child or an adult, a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering,” she said. “If face coverings are worn under the costume mask, please ensure that this does not create any breathing problems.”
Trick-or-treating will be allowed in the state, but health officials are adamant that social distancing guidelines will need to be observed to do so safely. Officials recommend that residents put individually-wrapped candies on tables outside their homes, allowing children to retrieve the candy without coming in direct contact with those passing out the treats.
Some Halloween activities, including haunted houses, are not currently allowed to open under IDPH guidance, but others, including hay rides, pumpkin patches and orchard visits, are still allowed with limited capacity, according to Ezike.
This year’s Halloween will be significantly different, but health officials are encouraging residents to use this season as an opportunity to use creativity to ensure having a good time.
“These are unprecedented and difficult times, but I encourage people to accept the situation and to try to be creative this holiday season,” Ezike said. “Challenge yourself and your kids on how you can celebrate these holidays as safely as possible.”