Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
Ghouls, goblins, and witches…oh my! Halloween is just around the corner, which means costume-clad kids across northwest Georgia will soon be going door-to-door for a sugar-infused evening of spooky fun. Harbin Clinic Pediatrics offers the following tips for parents and families to help keep children safe and healthy this Halloween.
Eat a healthy dinner beforehand.
Properly fueling children with a healthy dinner before trick-or-treating is key to cutting down on sugar consumption throughout the evening. Fill tummies with a wholesome meal of nutritious fruits and vegetables, and set a limit for how many pieces of candy kids can have for dessert.
Plan your trick-or-treating route in advance.
Don’t let the kids run wild as soon as you leave the house. Map out the route you will take and prepare children for where you’ll go. These parameters will help manage expectations and make the experience more enjoyable.
Stay with a group.
Stress the importance of everyone sticking together and discourage wandering off or lagging behind. For a large group with multiple children and families, make sure one adult is the designated leader and another is responsible for bringing up the rear. This will help ensure no one gets lost and provide valuable peace of mind.
Wear reflective clothing.
It’s always a good idea to wear reflective gear and carry flashlights so your trick-or-treating group is more visible to drivers. This will help lessen the risk of child pedestrian auto accidents.
Always use sidewalks and crosswalks.
Be sure to contain trick-or-treating activity to areas that are pedestrian-friendly with plenty of sidewalks. Discourage children from walking in the street or near busy roads as you normally would! Halloween festivities are not an excuse to let things slide when it comes to safety.
Walk – don’t run – from house to house.
Overexcited children will want to run from door to door, but reassure them that the candy isn’t going to run out! Walking (even at a brisk pace) will help reduce the likelihood of kids accidentally tripping and hurting themselves or choking on a piece of candy.
Avoid eating unwrapped candy.
Inspect your child’s loot at the end of the night and throw out anything that isn’t factory-wrapped or looks the least bit suspicious. While cookies or other home-baked goods may look appetizing, avoid letting children indulge in these treats unless you know AND trust the person who made them.
Never go inside a stranger’s home.
Respectfully decline invitations to enter the home of anyone you do not know and instruct children to do the same. Always keep conversations and candy-giving at the front door to avoid putting yourself and your kids in a potentially dangerous situation.
For information about how to keep your children safe and healthy year round, make an appointment with your Harbin Clinic pediatrician or visit www.harbinclinic.com.