Alabama pediatricians’ advice for families ahead of Halloween

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — It’s been a tough last year for Halloween lovers, but celebrating the tradition now has the backing of Alabama’s leading experts citing better vaccination rates and the delta variant wave slowing down, as long as it’s done outdoors.

“I would avoid large inside parties, even though we are in the moderate ranges,” UAB Pediatric Medicine‘s Dr. David Kimberlin said. “I don’t know that I would tempt fate quite that way. But going outside and going door-to-door and trick-or-treating is a fun thing to do.”

That’s not to say precautions shouldn’t be made, according to pediatrician and Alabama Department of Public Health administrator Dr. Karen Landers.

“Certainly if persons become ill with signs and symptoms that are compatible with COVID, please don’t go out and about,” Landers said. “Please don’t go to events, because you could still have COVID. Please go get tested. Certainly, if you become ill after you’ve been at an event, then again please get tested. Please get evaluated by your doctor.”

A reality shared by both doctors and safety authorities is that there are other dangers to keep aware of also.

“I remind parents just for example you want to think about the safety of the costumes,” Landers said. “Is there a trip hazard there? Are we in a situation where it could be darker than expected? Should we have flashlights available?”

Decatur Police Department’s public information liaison Irene Cardenas-Martinez echoes that warning.

“We really recommend that adults always supervise children that might be out trick or treating,” Cardenas-Martinez said. “If you are trick or treating at night, we do recommend you wear something reflective on your costume or maybe have flashlights or glow sticks.”

Both Landers and Kimberlin remind that in the case of being indoors or in crowded areas, masking up won’t just help prevent COVID-19 infection but also influenza, as flu season approaches.

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