Texas mom creates interactive map to help kids trick-or-treat safely
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas mom is doing her part to make sure everyone feels comfortable, and safe, this Halloween.
Ashley Wilson and her family love to go trick-or-treating. So, this year, it would be expected for her family to dress up and spend the evening going door to door.
However, 2020 has proved to look different.
Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilson is expecting, and her third son is planned on being delivered on October 1st.
Still wanting to celebrate, Wilson put her background in data science to work and created No Tricks Just Treats, a website with an interactive map that shows how houses in different neighborhoods will be participating this Halloween.
"Once it was all put together, I realized it was pretty impactful, and might make a difference to our communities, suburban families, neighborhoods who are enthusiastic about Halloween and those who may want to take their children out, but want to know what to expect before they do," Wilson said.
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On the website, there is a survey to fill out that asks questions like, "Will you be passing out candy at your house this year and if so, what level of social distancing should visitors expect?" and "Will your family be taking special precautions when preparing the candy for this year's trick-or-treaters?"
Wilson said with these questions, they were looking at people's comfort levels with COVID-19 precautions. "The questions and how you answer them will dictate how you are reflected on the map," she said. "We're doing that by labeling data with really fun icons that are representative of Halloween."
The icons represent a different level of precaution being taken by that house so that on Halloween families can go to the houses they feel comfortable interacting with, Wilson said.
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The different icons represent:
- Spiders: Passing out candy as usual.
- Cauldrons: Will have a bowl for children to reach into but require no interaction to receive candy.
- Pumpkins: Will greet guests but will be wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
- Witch hats: Will have candy in individual bags/pre-made and require no interaction to receive candy.
- Ghosts: Will have a candy chute or other creative means to provide trick-or-treaters with a no interaction experience.
A teal circle indicates a location has allergy-friendly options.
Wilson said it was important for her to do this because if she didn't have information like this, she wouldn't have gone out this year. "I felt like it was important because it was what I would want to know as a mom planning trick-or-treating for my children," she said.