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Have a Happy, Healthy Halloween!

Child in Costume Trick-or-TreatingA safe and healthy Halloween begins with choices you and your family make before the big day. Those costumes you choose can make the night extra special or lead to some unwanted problems. When putting together a Halloween costume, consider the following:

  • Some make-up can be irritating to the skin and even cause an allergic reaction, so it is important to test all make-up several days in advance and on a small area of skin away from the face.
  • Ill-fitting costumes, costumes with dangling pieces, and obstructing masks can make maneuvering difficult and even dangerous on Halloween night. Make sure masks don’t block vision and costumes don’t have parts that could contribute to trips and falls. Watch out for costume pieces that could catch fire from lighted jack-o’-lanterns (and keep your own home walkways free from lit candles and other potentially hazardous objects.)
  • When checking the safety of costumes, don’t forget the accessories. Things like swords and knives should be short, soft, and flexible.
  • Dark costumes are difficult to see at night. Choose light or brightly colored costumes or add reflective tape to dark costumes or trick-or-treat bags to make them visible to drivers.

Many websites encourage people to hand out healthier choices to trick-or-treaters, but let’s face it, children don’t want healthy “treats” on Halloween. In addition, responsible parents look for potential dangers in their children’s candy bags throwing out unwrapped or homemade items, so those juicy red delicious apples you lovingly distribute to the little Munchkins at your door are likely going in the trash. Children (and adults!) are going to indulge on Halloween, and that’s a big part of the fun of the holiday! But there are things you can do to keep your family from overindulging to prevent tummyaches later that night.

  • Be sure your family eats a healthy meal before heading out for parties or trick-or-treating so they will be less tempted to gorge on candy and other unhealthy treats.
  • Set limits on how much candy your children (and you!) will be allowed to eat before they begin filling their trick-or-treat bags. Present these limits in a positive way. If they know that they “get to have” 4 pieces of candy, they can focus on choosing which pieces they want to enjoy rather than thinking about what they can’t have.
  • Set a time limit for indulging, i.e., “no treats after 7:00.” You may not be able to prevent the sugar-induced hyperactive behavior, but you may be able to keep the sugar highs from interfering with a decent night sleep.

Everyone knows the importance of observing safety rules when out trick-or-treating, but be sure to review them with your family before they head out the door.

  • Never trick-or-treat alone. Walk in groups with a trusted adult.
  • Walk on sidewalks or on the edge of the road facing traffic and use established crosswalks when possible.
  • Carry a flashlight to enhance visibility for you and those approaching you.
  • Never enter a strangers home, accept a ride from a stranger, or stop at a dark house.

Here at Hillcrest Medical, we want to help you and your family have a happy, healthy Halloween!

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