In just a short time children across Lawton will take to the streets to participate in the time honored tradition of trick-or-treating, also known as Halloween.
Unlike past years, this season of sweet loot gathering will be a little different. Costumed participants will still have the chance to end the night in a sugar induced coma, but how they get there will be slightly stricter if they follow the tips issued by the City of Lawton.
Lawton has scheduled trick or treating from 6-8 p.m. Saturday. Along with the usual tips of inspecting candy, carrying flashlights and wearing reflective clothing, the City has added additional measures to help protect little tricksters during COVID-19.
The city suggests keeping groups small and limited to family members only. Gone are the days of ravaging hordes of young treaters roaming the neighborhoods in search of the good candy. Now groups should be kept small.
Avoid attending or hosting large parties. No more neighborhood block parties with the obligatory apple bobbing.
Most importantly — carry hand sanitizer. Wash those dirty digits before cramming Mildred’s homemade, candy-coated popcorn ball in your mouth.
Other tips include only allowing one person to hand out candy; don’t allow children to dig into that giant candy bowl; and maintain social distancing.
Will these added restrictions keep ghostly haunters from ringing doorbells? Janet Wise, mother of three, said no.
“It’s Halloween,” Wise exclaimed. “This has been something all the kids have been looking forward to every year and we don’t want to take that away from them.”
Wise said her family does plan on using plenty of hand sanitizer and masking when necessary, but in addition they will limit their candy shanghaiing to their neighborhood and only visit neighbors they’re familiar with.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health, not to be left out, contributed suggestions for a safe Halloween, and acknowledge many traditional Halloween activities can be higher-risk for spreading viruses. The OSDH suggests celebrants look for safer, alternative ways to participate Halloween such as limiting activities to outdoors; limiting groups to 10 or less; and avoiding haunted houses, to name a few.
However, health officials also suggest if someone may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
For a comprehensive list of OSDH Tips and Suggestions visit https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/