With 2020 being one of those years that we would all like to forget, looking for bright spots is important for our emotional and psychological well-being. For kids, where the events of the world around them are normally hard to understand, 2020 is a year where the need for normalcy is even more important. For kids, there are certain touchpoints throughout the year that equate to normalcy. However, with the pandemic bringing shutdowns of so many of our day to day routines along with social distancing, those touchpoints are hanging by a thread. Like Halloween.
In any other year, the planning of a costume and the anticipation of the many Halloween activities beyond trick or treating (school parties, Halloween costume parades, pumpkin picking, haunted house visits, etc) often accompany the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. However, with those two points in time thrown into disarray and the cancellation or modification of Halloween related activities, the normalcy kids need is in short supply. For children in wheelchairs, more so, as the Halloween holiday is one where the lack of normalcy is even direr as the risk of exposure to Covid-19 holds far greater health implications.
As parents scramble to maintain a level of normalcy for their kids, there is a multitude of suggestions as to how to celebrate the holiday. Along with their many other announcements and alerts, the Center for Disease Control has offered up recommendations of various activities to replace or augment variations of the traditions our kids have grown accustomed to, each with its own risk factor. Here are a few that we believe are the most helpful for parents of children in wheelchairs. To read the entire CDC recommendation, click here. Remember, regardless of what the CDC advises, state and local governments may put in place rules and regulations that would over-ride the suggestions below or the suggestions of the federal government or any federal agency.
Lower risk activities
Moderate risk activities – Some of these may require coordination with your neighbors
Higher risk activities – Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
Also, remember that a costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face. If your child’s costume involved a mask that completely covers their face, is certain to have your child try on the costume mask with a protective mask underneath it to determine breath-ability. If there is a breathing issue, reconsidering the costume mask would be advised to avoid serious health issues.