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It’s hard to say who loves Halloween more, you or your children! Who doesn’t love dressing up in fun costumes, carving pumpkins and scaring friends and neighbors? Oh yeah, and then there’s the candy.
Got your pumpkin ready? Let’s go trick or treating!
Before everyone starts grabbing for the candy corn and lollipops, here are a few tips to make sure each little ghost, goblin and ghoul has the best and safest Halloween ever. Kids are guaranteed to be super excited and ready to run out the door before dinner, but make sure they eat something first, or else you’ll be dealing with a tummy ache later. Before you go out, set some rules in place for your kids to abide by. Talk to them before they leave the house and they’ll understand your expectations for the night.
Street Smarts for Your Children
Be careful out there! Halloween is supposed to be scary, but not in the way that ends with a trip to the ER. If you’ve decided that your children are old enough to go out in a group without you, make sure they understand their curfew time and where they are supposed to go. Whether your child is a fairy princess or a more grown up goth vampire, here are some guidelines they should understand:
- Don’t go into a stranger’s house. Even if they’re holding candy.
- Be extra careful when you cross the street. Flashlights and reflectors are essential.
- Masks can be dangerous. Make sure your child can see through the holes. You may need to enlarge them.
- A responsible adult should go with children in a group.
- Tell your children not to eat any candy until you’ve approved it.
Safety Tips for Adults
- Drive below the speed limit in the neighborhood if you have to be out in the car.
- Use your hazard lights to warn other drivers if you have to drop off or pick up your child on the side of the street.
- Spooky is fun, but pitch darkness is dangerous. Make sure your walkway, any steps and your front door are well lit.
- Battery powered lights or glow sticks are less of a fire hazard than actual candles in pumpkins.
- Look up sex offenders on the state’s website. Make sure the route your children take is not near any potentially dangerous homes.
- Understand that predators are out on Halloween night. Keep a close eye on your children.
The kids are ready to head home after a night of dragging around their plastic pumpkins or goodie bags full of candy. Remember when your parents would look through your loot before you got your hands on it? They weren’t just trying to steal the chocolate bars for themselves. Parents, you should inspect the candy before allowing your children to dig in.
- Pour the contents of the bag on a table under good lighting.
- Toss any candy that looks suspicious or has been opened.
- If you have small children, look for choking hazards. Anything like jawbreakers or hard candy could get stuck in their airway.
- Peanut allergy? Make sure to remove any candy that might cause an allergic reaction.
Uh oh. You’ve seen that look before. The glazed eyes, the quick crash and the subsequent meltdown. Someone had too much candy! While stomachaches are not fun, they usually aren’t too serious. Here are some tips in case your child had a few too many treats:
- Rest. All that running around in a costume may have gotten your little one overheated and frazzled.
- Sip fluids. Hydration is important. If your child is throwing up, doctors advise giving small doses of liquid (1-2 ounces at a time) every 20 minutes until they stop vomiting.
- Avoid milk, fruit juice and sports drinks. If your child is sick on their stomach, try clear liquids like ginger ale or soup broth.
The best way to treat a stomach ache is to prevent it. Set a plan for the amount of candy allowed per day. For smaller children, keep the candy where they can’t reach it. Little eyes are bigger than their stomachs, and even us big kids have a problem denying ourselves one more piece.
If you have questions about Halloween safety, how to treat a candy overdose or a more serious health concern, please contact us at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Visit us online or call Consult-a-Nurse® at (727) 869-5498 for answers to your questions or a physician referral.