PHOENIX — This year Halloween falls on a Saturday. For many, the much-anticipated date marks the beginning of the fall holiday season. This year, many have been asking themselves, "What will Halloween look like this year?"
One Valley pediatrician highly suggests parents do as much possible to keep the holiday alive.
"We are starting the holiday season and these kids really need to feel that," says Dr. Kristin Strubble of Camelback Pediatrics.
In fact, Dr. Strubble and her son go Halloween decoration shopping on October 1 every year, as a way to welcome the fall holiday season.
In Gilbert, 10-year-old Brooke Bilsten and her sister Hannah have been getting ready for the holiday. Brooke created a PowerPoint presentation which she shared with her neighbors in order to host a safe Halloween in COVID times.
"I'm so excited, I'm going to be a Cardinals' football player," says Brooke.
In her brief presentation, Brooke conveys a message of safety, asking parents to have hand sanitizer readily available and to always wear masks. She also asks parents to give out candy in the driveway as opposed to waiting for trick-or-treaters to come to the door.
"One of the things we don't want people doing is touching the same doorbell as other people. It's very unsanitary," she adds.
Chris Minor of Virginia posted a picture of his 'safe' Halloween candy slide on social media and it quickly got retweeted and shared on Facebook. The 'candy slide' is a 6-foot PVC pipe shoot that allows for him to drop the candy into the slide, and it lands in the child's bucket.
"I found that the best thing is the miniature bags of M&Ms, so just kinda like, fold them in half and they just slide down and shoot out the end. You just kinda hold your bucket there and it goes into the bucket," says Minor.
Dr. Strubble says these ideas on how to safely pass out candy are important because they are helping the community keep the holiday alive during COVID-19.
"I think this is an extremely important holiday for so many kids and we are seeing so many kids fearful and mentally declining and manifesting in so many different ways we need to back up and say how can we move forward in a manner that will give them the confidence they need to have normalcy," says Dr. Strubble.
Trunk or treating, she says, is another alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating. One other thing she adds is the fact that trick-or-treating is done outside.
"Being outside really does help mitigate the potential for the spread of the disease," says Dr. Strubble.
There are things that cannot be forgotten or bypassed: wearing a mask and keeping social distancing in mind at all times.
"Just making sure that those kids are wearing masks, especially when they can't social distance," she adds.
As far as Brooke, Hannah, and their family are concerned, they won't be having an annual neighborhood Halloween party in the park due to COVID, but they are still planning on trick-or-treating and celebrating in a careful way.
"I think trick or treating will be safe in our neighborhood," says Brooke.