If you're participating, there are several things you need to know to keep you and your kids safe.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s Halloween, and with the Coronavirus pandemic raging across the country, parents have to make the decision on whether or not take their kids trick-or-treating.

If you’ve made the decision to put costumes on and hit the streets, there are several things you need to know to keep you and your kids safe.

In a year where everything has been forced to change, Halloween is no different.

Health experts are urging everyone to do their part in the fight against COVID-19.

The CDC has classified high contact trick-or-treating as high risk.

It says it can be made safer, by:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Washing hands before touching treats
  • Avoiding direct contact with other trick-or-treaters

As for the mask, a costume mask is not considered a substitute for the masks that everyone has been wearing for the last few months — and you should avoid wearing a costume mask over a face mask.

If you want to hand out candy, it’s recommended you leave prepackaged treats.

“If you are the person that is giving out candy, see if you can be creative to do that in a socially distant way, said Dr. Joseph Aracri, Chair of the Pediatric Institute at Allegheny Health Network.

“People have been using PVC pipes to shoot it down to the kids, putting it on levers that they can handle the candy where you’re not having direct contact. If you’re not able to do that, make sure that you have a mask on, make sure the basket is dry, whenever the children come up to trick-or-treat. And don’t allow the kids to pick out of the bowl hand out the candy, so this way you don’t have many hands in the same bowl,” Dr. Aracri said.

The CDC says there are still fun and safe ways to enjoy Halloween.

You can still carve your pumpkin, host a virtual costume party, or just relax and enjoy a Halloween movie.

According to the National Retail Federation, only 58% of Americans will be celebrating this year, down from 68% last year.