Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween – Keeping it Safe, Healthy and Fun!

Halloween is October 31, but most kids have had their costumes picked out since July, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to dress up, trick-or-treat around the neighborhood and collect lots of candy. We have compiled tips, suggestions and ideas to help make your family’s Halloween fun, safe and even healthy! 

Keeping it Safe
  • To avoid trips and falls around the neighborhood, be sure your child’s shoes are well-fitting and that his or her costume does not drag on the ground
  • Don’t let young children go trick-or-treating alone; instead, travel in groups with neighbors
  • Always use the sidewalk, not the street, when trick-or-treating
  • Only ring the doorbell of homes with the lights on, and teach your children that they should never go inside a stranger’s home
  • If there are no streetlights where you live, consider carrying flashlights with you and attaching reflective tape (found at sporting goods/craft stores) to your children’s costumes
  • Before applying any face paints to the child’s face, first test a small amount on your child’s wrist a few days before Halloween to make sure no skin irritation occurs

Keeping it Healthy
  • Parents should always inspect all candy before allowing a child to consume it; it is also advised to discard any homemade treats or candy with opened wrappers
  • While you may be tempted to restrict children from eating Halloween candy, allowing them to indulge in a small amount is fine in moderation. Doing so will teach them to view sweets as a rare treat that can be part of a healthy diet
  • Decide in advance the amount of candy you will allow your child to eat after trick-or-treating and communicate that to your child to manage his or her expectations

Keeping it Fun!
  • Decorate brown bags with stickers, markers, feathers and any other craft materials you like. Divide up leftover candy and portion out a small amount into each treat bag. Use the bags as a reward for good behavior, such as finishing vegetables at dinner or reading for an hour instead of watching television
  • Consider a family service project! Operation Gratitude, an organization that facilitates letters of appreciation and care packages for our troops overseas, will send your extra candy to a deployed service member

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