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Stanford University School of Medicine

Trick-or-treat: A checklist for a safe and healthy Halloween


As a kid, my checklist for Halloween was short and simple: put on my costume and have a pail for all the treats I would collect at the end of the night. Now, as a mom to two little girls, I know there are a few other things to be mindful of before heading out to trick-or-treat around the neighborhood.

Over on the Healthier, Happy Lives blog, Stanford Children’s Health pediatricians recently shared a list of suggestions on how to have a fun and safe Halloween, including what to do with all that extra candy. The tips -- which include many good reminders -- include:

  • Older children should go in groups, have a planned route and an agreed-upon time to return home, as well as carry a cell phone.
  • If your child has food allergies, adults should go up to the door and help pick the candy. Even sealed candy can leave traces of nuts that can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight or have some source of light with them. Glow sticks are also an option, and fastening reflective tape on costumes is a good idea.
  • Ensure costumes, shoes and masks fit well in order to avoid trips and falls.
  • Face paint and makeup are good alternatives to masks, but test them first to ensure they don’t cause an allergic reaction.
  • Don’t allow children to accept any homemade goodies.
  • Inspect treats once you are home and throw away any candy with torn or open packages.

Previously: How parents and kids can have a happier - and healthier - HalloweenEat well, be well and enjoy (a little) candyTips from a doctor (and a mom) for a safe Halloween and How to avoid a candy-coated Halloween
Photo by The Forum News/Melissa Robertson

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