Should I disinfect my child's candy? Florida sheriff's office explains

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If you decide to trick-or-treat this year, should the candy you receive be disinfected? A sheriff's office in Central Florida is diving in on how to celebrate Halloween safely.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office said that it is safe to "have Halloween" this year as long as you follow basic safety measures. However, please note that the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) considers trick-or-treating a high-risk activity. 

Some of the biggest risks the Osceola County Sheriff's Office listed were joining big groups, face-to-face exposure, and touching candy, toys, doors, and other surfaces.

If you do decide to trick-or-treat, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office says to:

  • Establish ground rules: Ask your kid not to touch multiple pieces of candy when digging around bowls. Social distance yourself and stay away from people outside of your household.
  • Forgo the communal candy bowl: Consider having a grab-and-go set-up in the front of your house instead. Place wrapped candy on the table individually and allow kids to pick their favorite without touching any other pieces.
  • Keep it clean: Put sanitizer on the table if you decide the grab-and-go method. Wash your hands before digging into the candy bowl when replenishing candy.
  • Clean your front door: Try staying outside or greeting trick-or-treaters from a safe distance instead. 
  • Mask up: Find a mask to be a part of your child's costume.
  • Stay small: Keep your group small and stay closer to home. 

In addition to the tips above, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office addressed some common questions for celebrating Halloween during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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For example, should you disinfect candy received? They said "since most Halloween candies are individually wrapped, the risk of transmission from touching candy is relatively low. If you really want to be careful though, let the candy sit out for 48-72 hours.

How about answering the door for trick-or-treaters? They said, "If you do decide to hand out candy from your door though, make sure that you are cleaning your hands in between each trick-or-treater and wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose."

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What about going to another neighborhood to trick-or-treat? They said, "The short answer is no. Officials at the CDC say that traveling to a different location for trick-or-treating or any sort of Halloween event is one of the riskiest things you can do this year. This is because each neighborhood has its own infection and spread rate and when you travel to these locations, you run the risk of creating an outbreak in your own area."

Those with further questions are encouraged to call the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at 407-348-2222.


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