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Halloween is a tricky time of year for parents, and it becomes more challenging after October 31st when the piles of candy are unloaded on your living room floor. Your kids’ favorite day of the year can quickly turn into your biggest nightmare for their teeth. A lot of scary things can show up in your child’s Halloween bucket, so it’s essential that you are prepared in knowing what to look for before you walk out the front door.
Planning For a Safe Halloween
Road safety. Stay close to your children when crossing streets, be aware of moving vehicles, and always look both ways before crossing the street. If you’re going to be out driving on the road on Halloween night, keep your eyes peeled and be alert for children out later than usual. Consider slowing your driving speed and never assume that a pedestrian can see a car or that a car can see a pedestrian.
Walking in a group. Children under the age of 12 shouldn’t be out trick-or-treating by themselves. Traveling in a group will make it easier for cars and others to see you. A group of people is not as easy of a target as a lone individual.
Wear Bright Colors. Dressing up in costumes that are brightly colored makes it easier for others to see you. If you or your child does opt for a dark-colored costume, attach something bright to their outfit such as a light-up necklace, a glow stick, or reflective tape to make yourself easier to see. Being seen can be the difference between being safe and being injured on Halloween night.
Lights. Make sure you bring along a working flashlight or a sufficient number of glow sticks to help ensure you are visible to others while walking around neighborhoods in the dark.
Checking Candy. Always check that candy has not been tampered with before consuming. Many hospitals will do complimentary X-rays to ensure that your child’s candy is free from any harmful objects.
Setting the Candy Rules
Kids are really ok with following rules, as long as they know them in advance and there are no sudden rule changes. Set a candy limit for how much candy they can consume on Halloween night, and for the nights following any candy collecting. Sticking with your created rules will reduce the amount of sugar your child consumes in one night.
Get Creative in Trading Candy
Kids love candy, but they also love new toys, money, and even things like that new pair of shoes they’ve been wanting. Consider a family trade-in program that allows your children the option of trading in their candy to purchase something else that they have been wanting instead. After all, a new doll or the latest video game is sure to be less damaging to their teeth than a bag filled with sugar.
Give Candy Away
There are some great programs that will accept your unwanted candy, such as Soldiers’ Angels, who will send your child’s Halloween candy to soldiers overseas.
Staying hydrated while out trick-or-treating will not only keep your bodies maintained, but it will also help to rinse away left-behind sugar from eating candy. The best way to counteract the rush of sugar in the mouth is by drinking plenty of water, so be sure to bring a bottle or two with you on your trick-or-treating adventures.
Prioritize Brushing & Flossing
A long night of trick-or-treating and being up past their usual bedtime can lead to cranky kids. It may be tempting to have everyone throw on pajamas and go straight to bed when you walk through the door, but Halloween is the one night where you should prioritize flossing and brushing. Any time your child is enjoying candy or sweets, it’s extra important that they remove any leftover sugars from their teeth.
What to do in a Dental Emergency
Taffy so sticky that it pulled out a filling? Contact Hoffman Dental Care to schedule an emergency or routine check-up appointment for yourself or for your little monsters. We are always available to help in emergency situations.