Halloween is right around the corner, and while many Georgians are planning to celebrate this year, many may have questions about how to do so safely.
Wellstar’s very own Dr. Branstetter recently shared his recommendations to minimize the risk from the triple-demic and to keep family and friends safe while celebrating holiday occasions such as Halloween by ensuring you are up to date with the latest vaccines that help prepare our immune systems to prevent illnesses.
"Some of my patients have already elected to get both their COVID and influenza shots. I don't think there is a perfect way that we need to go through and get these vaccines. The important thing is, if they're indicated for you and you're due for a vaccine, go ahead and get those done." - Dr. Danny Branstetter, Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Wellstar Health System in the Marietta Daily Journal
Millions of people in the U.S. and around the globe, including children of all ages, look forward to the festivities of Halloween. But–lest we forget–it's virus season, and RSV, flu, and COVID-19 are still lurking in the shadows. How can we celebrate while keeping our families, friends, and neighbors safe from the community spread of these viruses, which is essential to everyone's health and well-being? Get creative and think about safety. Think "TREAT!"
Wellstar has created these tips for a healthy Halloween celebration while keeping in mind it's a holiday full of tricks and TREATS!
- T – TRUST YOUR JUDGMENT - Take safety precautions during the holidays, like washing your hands, spending time outdoors to help minimize close contact with others, and staying home if anyone in your family has flu-like symptoms. Making good and healthy decisions is the key to reducing exposure to viruses.
- R – ROADWAYS - Remember to watch the roadways on Halloween! Lack of visibility from dusk into the evening while children and families are trick-or-treating can be dangerous. Watch for children in dark clothing on roadways, medians, curbs, driveways, and alleys. Consider adding reflective tape to children's costumes and never assume the right of way; just because you can see a car doesn't mean they can see you. Let's keep everyone safe this spooky season!
- E – EAT- Halloween is an opportunity to avoid being tricked by treats. Make sure children wait to return home before consuming candy, helping prevent any reactions to food allergens. Allow time for inspecting potentially tampered-with goodies, only consume factory-wrapped treats, and toss any spoiled or suspicious items. Examine treats like stickers and candy wrappers for choking hazards and monitor the amount of sugar consumed.
- A – AVOID - Trick-or-treating alone can be a hazard; ensure a trusted, responsible adult accompanies children on their adventure. You can walk in groups or implement the buddy system in the neighborhood. Steer clear of distracted walking by staying off our phones while trick-or-treating. Avoid spooky situations and only approach homes with the porch light on!
- T – TECHNOLOGY - Whether you are looking to plan the best trick-or-treating route, watching movies, or connecting with family and friends across the miles, technology can help unite us this holiday season. If you have a household with immunocompromised members, think about hosting a virtual pumpkin-carving contest or FaceTime a kid's costume fashion show to help families have holiday fun while staying safe.
Wellstar is committed to providing high-quality, tailored and compassionate care. For more information and the latest updates on COVID-19, visit wellstar.org/COVID-19.