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Is it safe to go trick-or-treating this Halloween? An expert weighs in | St. Louis News Headlines – St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri 2021-10-09 18:15:00 –

(CNN)-The pandemic makes us think about Halloween costumes and candies faster than ever.

I’m also wondering what a busy block does. Do couples at the end of my street play a player piano when handing out snacks? Or will it be darker if you participate, like last year, worried about the spread of the coronavirus?

My child is surprisingly a teenager, so my family is completely vaccinated. But are we safe to wander around the Halloween-crazy neighborhood? I don’t know who is vaccinated in the set over 12 years old. Sets under the age of 12 cannot be vaccinated yet.

I decided to ask CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Linawen how to safely celebrate, whether or not your family is fully vaccinated. A professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, she is also the author of a new book.Lifeline: Doctor’s Journey in the Battle for Public Health.. And she is the mother of two young children.

CNN: Let’s get to the most important question-is it safe to do a trick or treat this year?

Dr. Riana Wen: Yes! I’m going to do a trick or treat with my kids.

Sure, like most things at this stage of the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that everything is exactly back in 2019. People still need to take precautions this Halloween, especially if a child like me is too young to be vaccinated (my son is 4 years old and my daughter is 1 1/2 years old) ).

Trick or treat is fairly safe from a coronavirus perspective. Many families in my neighborhood, like scavenger hunts, put treat packets in their yard so they can be found. Of course, my son and a few friends are walking around with their parents. This activity is very safe.

Many people want to go back to the pre-pandemic era and say hello to their children by saying “trick or treat.” If it is not raining or snowing, we recommend installing it outdoors. It is better to put the wrapped candy in the child’s basket than the child to reach for a large bowl. If your child touches each other’s hands or other commonly used surfaces such as doorknobs, prepare a hand sanitizer.

If you live in an area with a private home or town home, you probably have a lower risk of knocking on a person’s door to deceive or treat them. Be careful not to step into someone’s house. If you live around a lot of apartments and have to enter an elevator or hallway to deceive or treat, the risk of Covid-19 is quite high. Parents are advised not to enter someone else’s apartment and instead look for activities in nearby parks or other predominantly outdoor environments.

CNN: Are there any other Halloween activities that encourage children, especially young unvaccinated children, to stay away?

Wen: In general, unvaccinated children are advised to stay away from indoor parties. Coronavirus infections remain at very high levels in many parts of the country, with children now accounting for more than a quarter of new infections. Indoor activities are still at high risk. Fortunately for our kids, outdoor trick or treats are the safest activity and the candies are individually wrapped.

CNN: What about older children who are already fully vaccinated?

Wen: I think parents should discuss their children about how much risk they are willing to take as a family. There may be families where everyone is generally healthy and vaccinated. In that case, the risk of one of the family members becoming seriously ill is low. It may make sense to decide that an indoor gathering with friends is okay-especially if all friends and their parents are also vaccinated.

The same is true for activities such as movies, dance and haunted houses. All of these activities carry some risk. The risk is increased in crowded and poorly ventilated areas with high community infection rates, large numbers of participants. Wearing a mask indoors around a person whose vaccination status is unknown is always a good idea to reduce the risk of transmitting and spreading Covid-19.

Some families want to take additional precautions, just as some families are willing to take on some of these risks. Some families have younger children who have not yet been vaccinated. They may live with older relatives who have weakened immunity. For people in this situation, it may make sense to avoid high-risk indoor activities to protect others in the home.

CNN: What questions would you ask if you were invited to a Halloween party?

Wen: I’ll ask who goes there. It is much safer if all participants are known to be vaccinated than if some are unvaccinated or the status of vaccination is unknown.

Where is the party held? If it is primarily outdoors and attendees can choose to stay outdoors all the time, it is much less risky than if it were done entirely indoors.

Is it crowded with people indoors? Or can the windows be open and people have space? It also changes the risk calculation. Of course, as explained earlier, you also need to take into account your own medical situation and the medical situation of your family.

CNN: Children ages 5-11 can get permission to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by Halloween. Should parents try to be shot by them as soon as possible so that they can enjoy the holidays?

Wen: Many parents are very eager to vaccinate their young children, but they do not affect their Halloween activities. Even if a child can take the first shot just before Halloween, it is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second vaccination.

CNN: And now the most important question-what are you and your kids going to dress up as?

Wen: My son Eri is crazy about Winnie the Pooh. That’s what he looked like last year, but we didn’t have to do trick or treat in costumes, so we might do that again. I think he wants to dress his sister as a piglet. I’m looking forward to doing a trick or treat in the neighborhood with Eri’s friend’s parents or gathering in a nearby park for a play date.

The-CNN-Wire

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