By Matthew Waugh, MD
Reliant Medical Group Pediatrics
Fall is here and that means children will soon be enjoying one of our favorite holidays – Halloween. You can make this holiday a little safer and healthier for everyone involved by following these simple guidelines below:
Set some ground rules early. If your children will be trick or treating without you, make sure you know their route and set a curfew. Go over safety rules before they head out, such as staying with the group, walking only on the sidewalk, never going inside a home or car for a treat, and approaching only clearly lit homes. You should also make sure your child doesn’t forget their cell phone if they carry one (and that it’s fully charged).
Practice Proper Hygiene. Before you let your child travel from door to door getting treats and possibly petting the neighbor’s dog, be sure to remind them of proper hygiene. Washing hands regularly is important and so is brushing and flossing each day – especially when more sweets are consumed.
Careful with Makeup and Costumes. For parents with children who wear face paint or makeup on Halloween, it’s important to check out product ingredients. Harmful chemicals in face paint or makeup can trigger allergies or cause problems like skin irritation. A good practice is to look for “non-toxic” on the label and test a small amount a few days before Halloween to see if your child will have a reaction.
Inspect Treats Carefully. It’s a good idea to impose a “no eating while trick or treating” rule. This way, you can inspect all the goodies your children have to make sure they are safe. Discard anything that’s not sealed, has torn packaging or seems suspect. If your child has food allergies, this is the time to check for ingredients that could be a problem. Some Halloween favorites may have different ingredients this year and miniature versions of candy might have additional ingredients than their full-size versions (or vice versa). It’s best not to allow any home-baked goods to be eaten.
Careful around cars. Although most drivers know that kids are running around in the dark a good safety practice is to have some reflective material on costumes, perhaps some glow sticks and flashlights.
Following the tips above will help your child stay safe on Halloween, while still having a holiday to remember!
About Matthew Waugh, MD
Dr. Matthew Waugh joined the organization in 2007 after practicing in New York for almost a decade. He credits the excellent team he works with in helping him provide great care for kids. “The pediatrician is a key part of the team in healthcare but it’s really all the nurses and receptionists who make a great office.” Dr. Waugh believes in involving families in the decision process. “Often, there are options such as to treat an...View profile View posts by this doctor