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Our view: Trick-or-treat the right call this unusual year
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IN OUR VOICE

Our view: Trick-or-treat the right call this unusual year

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It was enough to scare kids of all ages. Leave it to California to proclaim the coronavirus would prevent trick-or-treating this year.

That’s what the Los Angeles County health department did, announcing a ban a few weeks ago. It quickly revised its guidance to say that going door-to-door or car-to-car were merely “not recommended” as “it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing” and “because sharing food is risky.”

But the damage was done. From coast to coast kids — and parents — were worried that their local governments will ban trick-or-treating this Halloween.

And their concern was justified. A second surge of the virus is predicted for this fall, and for months much of the fun kids enjoy has been shelved because of pandemic concerns.

Locally, though, fears were eased rather suddenly — and perhaps surprisingly — when the city of Kenosha announced trick-or-treat hours from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. Just like normal, Kenosha would have trick-or-treat on Halloween.

Parents and kids smiled, and for many the hunt is on for just the right costume.

That Kenosha got in front of any concern this Halloween is significant, in that the city canceled parades and fireworks and family fun events all summer long.

Other municipalities should quickly follow Kenosha’s lead and set it up. The public demands it, and many of us enjoy it.

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Nearly a quarter of Americans plan on trick-or-treating this year, compared with 29% in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween spending survey conducted Sept. 1-9. About two-thirds said they would hand out candy.

“There has been a lot of things that have gone away for children,” Hansa Bhargava, a pediatrician and the senior medical director of WebMD, told Bloomberg CityLab. “That’s why I don’t want to take one more thing away from them.”

She said families should look at the the infection rate within their communities before deciding whether to trick-or-treat. The key, she told Bloomberg CityLab, is for parents to help their kids understand that 2020 is an unusual year for Halloween celebrations.

The Centers for Disease Control offers these safety tips for trick-or-treating:

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.

Plan to enjoy trick-or-treating like every year. The kids deserve it.

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