Halloween is back—if families celebrate safely. Here’s how.

Last Halloween gave us the creeps. But thanks to science, kids can scare up more fun this year.

A reader recently emailed National Geographic Family with a Halloween question. Last year, she and her husband put candy on a table in their driveway so kids wouldn’t risk COVID-19 exposure at her door. Should they do that again this year?

The answer is good news. For most people, trick-or-treating door-to-door is back on. “I think the evidence is pretty clear that kids can safely be together masked, if none of the kids are sick and they try to maintain some distance," says Aaron Milstone, professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University.

It’s no surprise that parents have questions. This time last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended against trick-or-treating; some cities banned Halloween gatherings altogether. Many of us were still sanitizing groceries as well as candy wrappers. (To date, there’s never been a documented case showing that COVID-19 spreads this way.) And “Halloween masks” took on a whole new meaning.

Oh, how things have changed.

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