A safe and healthy Halloween is a happy one. As you put the finishing touches on your children’s costumes this year, don’t forget basic precautions to keep you and them safe and bring you a little peace of mind.
In No Particular Order
- Low Visibility – Despite hordes of zombies and monsters running around, the more serious danger during Halloween is the darkness. Everyone is out and about and there is sure to be scores of children (and adults) in costumes running from door-to-door and crossing streets. Road safety is a serious issue. Even careful drivers might have trouble seeing the little ones whose costumes are darkly colored. There are many things to trip on, as well, when moving through unfamiliar territory. Be sure to carry a flashlight so you can see where you’re going, which could even be integrated into your costume or candy pail.
- Be Seen – Halloween costumes are often dark so adding reflectors to their costume and/or footwear is a huge help. Reflectors help motorists and other people quickly identify a moving body in the dark. In addition, we highly recommend glowsticks, which can come in many forms and most children enjoy wearing them. While reflectors work great when any light source is coming toward them, glow sticks provide a constant source of visibility in the darkness.
- Candy Inspection – While tampered treats are a rare event, it pays to be safe. Set aside some time to inspect each item in your child’s Halloween loot to make sure it’s sealed and shows no signs of tampering. Also, toss anything homemade candies, unless you know the source. This might also be a good time to confiscate any of your favorite candies “for science”, or to teach them hard life lessons about taxes. It’s never too early to learn about taxes! We like to call it the “parent tax” around here!
- Go in Groups – Just like any good MMO, there are tangible benefits to hunting treasure in a group. First and foremost, it is simply safer to stick together. Children will also have more fun sharing the costume experience with their peers. Young children should be supervised and instructed on door-to-door etiquette. Only approach doors with the lights on, be polite, and stay in the doorway when trick-or-treating.
- Avoid Hard and Sticky Candy – I probably couldn’t convince you to skip the candy all together, could I? Didn’t think so, but I had to try, so if you and your children do choose to partake in those irresistible sweet treats, then I encourage you to make smart choices, to ensure your dental health will make it to next Halloween. Avoid hard candy, which can break teeth (young and old). And shy away from sticky candy (such as caramel) that can yank fillings or crowns right out.
- Safe and Comfortable – Some costumes seem like a great idea until you try to move around in the dark. Whether it is a mask that limits vision, dangling parts that can be stepped on, or just general discomfort, an ill-designed costume might have your child modifying it before the end of the night. When selecting a costume for your child, consider how practical it is and use your creativity to troubleshoot.
- Look for Teal Pumpkins – Trick-or-Treating doesn’t have to be all about candy. While the Teal Pumpkin Project was initially aimed at children with allergies, it is also a great option for those seeking a candy alternative. Participants will simply post a teal-colored pumpkin outside their door, indicating they have a fun selection of non-food treats, such as toys, posters, or glow sticks.
Halloween Fun For Everyone!
Now that we’ve covered a few Halloween tips, I leave you with this fun dental humor! Have a safe and happy Halloween!
A Dentist for Halloween (by Cherie Durgin)
I think I’ll be a dentist
This year for Halloween
And scare the trick-or-treaters
Into keeping their teeth clean!
Focused on dental excellence,