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Treats without tricks: Safety and nutrition tips for Halloween

(BPT) – Halloween night is swiftly approaching and parents want children to stay safe while having fun. It’s easy to take the tricks out of trick-or-treating with simple Halloween safety and nutrition tips.

As you prepare to send off your little ghouls and goblins for a night of fun, keep in mind these tips from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals:

Prepare for trick-or-treaters
Before Halloween night begins, make sure your yard is safe and ready. Replacing burnt out light bulbs and turning on outdoor lighting will help prevent accidents as night sets in. Experts at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital recommend removing items from your yard that kids could trip over like sprinklers, hoses and rakes. They also encourage appropriately guarding pets to avoid potential injuries.

Give out the goods
Consider giving out healthier alternatives to your trick-or treaters this year. Health care professionals at Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation suggest handing out sugar-free gum, whole-grain crackers or raisins. Stickers and pencils make great giveaways as well.

Let your kids shine
Sending your kids out in the dark doesn’t have to be scary or unsafe. Adding reflective tape to your children’s costumes or candy buckets helps them be seen in the evening hours. Doctors at Gillette Children’s Hospital recommend adding flashing buttons to your child’s costume.  They also encourage attaching mini flashlights to your children’s wrists or candy buckets to allow them to see in poorly lit areas.

Buddy up
On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year, according to SafeKids.org. Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital recommends children younger than 12 trick-or-treat and cross the street with an adult. Always walk facing traffic on sidewalks or paths if available, and take advantage of all traffic signals and crosswalks.

Beware of tricks
Getting home after a long night of treat collecting is exciting, but before your kids dig into their loot, do a quick inspection of their candy bag and look for any tampered treats. Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or has a torn or worn wrapper.

Limit candy intake
Discussing and setting expectations for how much candy your children are allowed to eat can limit overindulging. Specialists at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta encourage sending trick-or-treaters out after filling up on a healthy family dinner and letting kids choose three to five pieces of candy to eat on Halloween night. To avoid a post-Halloween sugar surge, allow kids to choose their favorite candy and then offer to buy back or trade any leftover candy for money or a special prize.

To learn more about your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and ways you can help make kids healthier, visit CMNHospitals.org.

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