Halloween Safety Tips with Dr. Rhoads
Enjoy a safe and healthier Halloween
Halloween is right around the corner and Dr. Phillip Rhoads, pediatrician and internist at Banner Health Center in Fort Collins, wants kids and parents to have a fun, safe and healthy celebration.
“There are many ways to make sure your child’s Halloween is as fun as it is healthy,” he says. “Follow these simple tips and the treat of Trick-or-Treating will be a stress-free holiday.”
- Feed your child a good meal before Trick-or-Treating. Children are less likely to eat while visiting door-to-door if they are full.
- The rule “all things in moderation” includes candy. The ingredients in most candy—namely sugar, artificial colors and sweeteners – can cause bloating, diarrhea or headaches if too much is consumed plus can add to hyperactivity, dental cavities, excess caloric intake and loss of interest in regular meals in the long run.
- Add a little extra physical activity into your Halloween schedule. Exercise can help kids burn the extra sugar/calories they are consuming and this will likely prevent putting on extra pounds.
- Kids with diabetes or other health issues can still have treats. Parents need to monitor portion sizes and remind their child to eat in moderation, having only a couple pieces of candy per day (not all of it on Halloween night).
- Look for age-appropriate candy. Children under 3 years old can choke on candy with caramels, nuts or larger candy nuggets. Children under 5 years old should not have jawbreakers or hard candies that can chip their teeth or cause choking.
- Throw out any candy that has loose wrappers, wrappers with holes in them, or homemade candy. Be sure to inspect for candy that discolored since it might be expired and inedible.
- Have your child split their candy into smaller bags that they can bring to school each day. This will allow you to control their consumption while still allowing your child to enjoy his or her favorites.
- Have your child “trade” their candy for fun prizes, like glow-in-the-dark spiders, Halloween-themed stickers or pencils, coloring books or games.
“There are many ways to make sure your child’s Halloween is as fun as it is healthy,” Dr. Rhoads says. “These tips can help kids and parents and parents have a stress-free holiday.