Back to home October 2013
Exercising Safety Reduces Scary Halloween Experiences
The ghouls and goblins are not real but for children who trick-or-treat, the possibility of injuries can be very scary. According to the United States Census Bureau, 40 million children participate in Halloween activities.
“One of the biggest Halloween hazards lasts long after the holiday is over,” says pediatrician Ilan Shapiro, M.D. “The culprit is candy. Candy is calories and we are facing an obesity epidemic—more than 30 percent of American children are obese. In addition, candy consumption is related to cavities.”
Children can consume candy, but in small quantities. “Encouraging our kids to binge on calories is not a healthy habit,” Dr. Shapiro says. “Instead, try offering stickers or healthy food as a reward. Encourage fun, and on top of everything, encourage health.”
Other Halloween tips:
- Examine candy to make certain it is still in wrappers. Also look for and eliminate candy that may cause an adverse reaction if your child has a food allergy.
- Choose costumes that are comfortable and easy to walk in, thus avoiding unnecessary falls.
- Make certain children have a clear field of vision. Avoid masks that limit their ability to see where they are walking.
- Wear reflectors or lights to increase visibility.
- Avoid nonmedical contact lenses because they can cause eye damage.
- Young children should always have supervision, from an adult or older sibling.
“It’s also helpful for children to have a buddy system,” Dr. Shapiro says. “Pairing up is safer and more fun.”
Dr. Shapiro also cautions children on the dangers of going into someone’s home. “Never enter a home where you don’t know the people who live there,” he says. “Never get into a car with a stranger. Teach your children how to dial 911.”
By exercising caution, Halloween can be a fun holiday for everyone. “A great idea is to have a nice, big, healthy meal before you go out,” Dr. Shapiro says. “That way, the candy isn’t as tempting.”
“One of the biggest Halloween hazards lasts long after the holiday is over, ” says pediatrician Ilan Shapiro, M.D. “The culprit is candy.”
Latest Childhood Obesity Levels
Ilan Shapiro, M.D.
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