It’s almost Halloween, and you’re probably almost as excited as your kids. Parties, costumes, trick-or-treating…it’s one of the holidays most looked forward to by children and parents, alike. But even as you’re putting the finishing touches on costumes and making that last candy run to the store, are you ready to provide a safe and healthy Halloween for your family?
“Halloween is a great holiday for families to bond, but it doesn’t have to be over chocolate bars. As Halloween continues to evolve, so do your choices for treats for your kids and the trick-or-treaters at your door,” said Andrea Herbert, MD, an emergency physician at Carondelet Health Network.
Inexpensive healthy alternatives, such as stickers, bubbles, crayons and play dough bring a fun twist to Halloween treats. And trick-or-treaters will appreciate waving glow sticks and staying hydrated with juice boxes and mini bottles of water as they continue their candy quest. Raisins and goldfish in factory-packaged snack bags are another option.
Your child’s health isn’t limited to the goodies they’re consuming.
“Parents are always concerned with their children’s safety, and there are a few basic things to keep in mind when preparing for a night of trick-or-treating,” said Dr. Herbert.
One of the biggest issues being addressed by physicians this Halloween is the use of cosmetic contact lenses. While they seem cool, they can actually cause corneal abrasions, infection and even vision loss.
Makeup is another culprit of spoiled Halloweens. Kids can have sensitive skin and break out in itchy rashes and hives from makeup. By testing makeup on a small area of your child’s skin, you can quickly determine if the makeup will be safe for your child.
Also make sure that masks fit correctly and costumes aren’t too long. Both can be a tripping hazard, particularly in the dark.
While out trick-or-treating, kids should stay in groups and smaller children need to be accompanied by an adult. Everyone should wear reflective tape on their costumes and carry flash lights so they are easily visible to drivers.
Once home, parents or adults should sort all candy. Throw out any candy or treats that are not in sealed, factory packaging. And homemade goodies should also be tossed, unless they come from someone you know well.
Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year. Make sure kids don’t miss out due to an unnecessary injury or upset tummy. Too much chocolate will do that to you!