Megann Sauer, M.D.
Haunted houses, ghoulish decorations and scary movies make for plenty of frightening moments around Halloween. You shouldn’t have to fear for your children’s safety as well. To keep them safe this season, just remind them to think like a monster!
Mounds and mounds of sugary Halloween treats can take a toll on teeth. Moderation is important, so after kids return from trick-or-treating, ask them to go through their stash and pick out a few of their favorite items. Everything else can be donated or frozen. Once the best of the best has been picked out, allow a special Halloween night snack and set up a specific treat time thereafter when a child can indulge in a piece of candy.
As a vampire parent, you can help keep teeth healthy too. This is a great time to teach the importance of dental hygiene. Pay special attention to your child’s brushing habits, as the increased sugar intake could lead to cavities if teeth are not properly cleaned. When purchasing your trick-or-treating handouts, consider alternatives like small activity books, toys or crackers.
If it’s cold, limit the amount of skin exposed to the elements. Synthetic exercise shirts make it much easier to be weather-conscious while staying true to your child’s dream costume. However, if the temperature is extremely low, outerwear may be necessary as well.
Keep in mind that some costumes are fairly thin, so it may be a good idea to buy the costume a size big to allow for layering.
Never allow a child to go trick-or-treating alone. If trick-or-treaters are under the age of 12, there should be a responsible supervisor. Older children may not need a chaperone, but they should travel in a group and be able to get a hold of a parent or trusted adult at all times.
Face paint is preferred over masks because it does not limit vision. But when the night is over, it’s time for your little ghost to change back into a little kid to avoid skin irritation and the risk of paint flaking off and falling into your child’s eye. Remove the face paint exactly as directed on the instructions (with soap and water, cold cream, make-up remover, etc.).
Halloween night can get pretty hectic, so make sure that your child can see and be seen to avoid tripping on the side walk or having collisions with cars and other children. Costumes, shoes or bags with reflective surfaces are great, and few things work better than a good old-fashioned flashlight for navigating when the Halloween moon is out.
Ghosts come back home and haunt the places they know. While you probably don’t want your children pulling evil pranks, it is a good idea stay in neighborhoods they are familiar with while trick-or-treating. As an extra precaution, map out a route to follow and drive through it before Halloween night.