Viera Pediatrics’ Halloween Safety Tips
Witches and goblins and Jedi, oh my! We are officially in countdown-mode here at Viera Pediatrics for trick-or-treat season and we can’t wait to see which costumes you’ve chosen to wear this year, kids! Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year, for kids and parents alike, but Halloween safety is an important lesson we need to remind ourselves of.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to ensure you and your family stay healthy and SAFE this All Hallows Eve!
Never trick or treat without a buddy
Kids under the age of twelve might seem mature for their age nowadays, but Halloween is always an appropriate time to exercise caution. If you’re questioning whether your child is ready for solo trick or treating, it’s probably not time yet. For older kids who might be more sensitive to you tagging along, give them a wide berth to spend time with friends while you provide safe transportation.
Always use a crosswalk
According to recent studies, Halloween is one of the most dangerous times for vehicle/pedestrian-related accidents. Many of Brevard County’s most popular destinations for trick-or-treating are inter-connected neighborhoods with lots of families. This means it’s likely your kids will have to cross the road at some point during the evening. Make sure your child knows proper protocol for crossing the street, signaling drivers and what all necessary posted signs mean for them.
Face paint vs. masks
While certain costumes might come with masks to give children a “complete” look, some modern masks can be quite restrictive when it comes to your child’s vision – especially after the sun sets. Try face paint this year, instead.
This year, when helping your child choose the perfect costume, ask yourself “will this costume hinder my child’s ability to walk?” Too often, we choose costumes based on how they look, not necessarily on how well they operate in the real world. Do yourself, and your child, a favor this year by making the right choice.
Safety in sorting
Remember to always wait until getting home to sort through your children’s candy-loot to weed out any suspicious “unwrapped” treats. Keep in mind that strangers aren’t aware of your child's allergies or dietary restrictions, be extra vigilant when sorting to ensure no mishaps occur. Want to make sorting more fun? Turn it into a game! Challenge your kids to estimate at first glance which type of candy they think there will be the most of, then compare this to the actual count. Or have your kiddos use post-it notes to label different candy categories -- such as chocolate, sour and hard candy -- then ask them to create a bar graph of each right there on the table!
Avoid sugar overload
We all allow for a certain amount of above-average sugar intake this time of year, it comes with the territory, but it's important to remember that moderation is crucial in all things. Make sure to remind your kids about the importance of thoroughly brushing and flossing their teeth after a candy binge. Encourage them to self-regulate by asking them questions about how too much candy makes them feel. Inspire a “make-it-last” mentality by explaining the concept in words that make sense to kids: if you eat only two pieces of candy a day, that means your candy stash might last you ‘til Christmas!
Make sure your yard is clear of debris – slippery leaves, children’s toys, bicycles, etc. – so visiting kiddos don’t trip or fall in the rush to get to your home’s candy bowl. Safety is, and always should be, your number one priority. As a footnote, always leave your porch or outside lights on, just to be safe.
Whether you’re dressing up as a spooky monster or a lovable character from your favorite tv show or movie, we want to wish you a happy and SAFE Halloween – have fun Viera kids! We LOVE seeing you in your costumes here at the office, so feel free to dress up for your next appointment with us!