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Cornelius News

Halloween tips: Seasonal illness safety  

Oct. 28. This might be the most normal Halloween yet since the COVID-19 pandemic began. While children and families are looking forward to some normalcy, Atrium Health says don’t forget about flu and other respiratory illnesses that can be just as harmful and contagious.

Dr. Chpryelle Carr

“If there’s one good thing to come out of the pandemic, it’s our society has quickly learned the importance of hand hygiene,” says Dr. Chpryelle Carr, pediatrician at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Rea Village Pediatrics. “It’s a healthy practice any time of the year but especially as the holiday season kicks off with Halloween.”

Of course, when it comes to Halloween, the No. 1 item on most kids’ minds is trick-or-treating.

“Parents need to consider alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating based on their child’s personal health risk factors,” Carr says. “Are they young and susceptive to RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)? Is their immune system down from a recent illness? Are they fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu? These are the questions I tell my patients’ parents to ask themselves.”

Another piece of advice is to make sure your kids wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, if they don’t have access to soap and water,  before eating their candy.

Trick-or-treating is a classic, but there’s more fun to be had during Halloween. For lower-risk options, Carr suggests trying a scavenger hunt with candy at your own house or visit a pumpkin patch.