Summer is officially over here in the Ohio Valley, and Halloween decorations are out in full swarm. Your kids have probably already changed their costume idea 4 or 5 times, and you’re ready to just draw something out of a hat! We understand completely!
Halloween is a lot of fun, but it is also a LOT of work and stress for parents. First the costume, then the candy for other kids, then Halloween parties, decorations for the house, carving the pumpkin, and finally the 31st. Keeping your kids safe is priority #1, but you also want them to have an absolute blast, just like you did when you were a child!
We hope we can help. You might not think that your dentist wants much to do with Halloween, but we have found lots of ways for Halloween to be tons of fun and still completely safe for little smiles.
Prioritize Safety First!
The following tips have nothing to do with teeth but everything to do with keeping your children safe. These are just basic guidelines that all parents follow when taking their kids around for trick-or-treating.
- Make Your Kids Visible – Add reflective tape, glow sticks, or flashing lights to your child’s costume so that they can be seen as the sun goes down.
- Be Aware of Vehicles – Be watching (and teach your kids to watch) for vehicles backing out of driveways, dropping kids off, or drively irresponsibly.
- Follow Road Rules – Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible, look both ways before you cross the street, and always obey traffic signals (whether walking or driving).
- Check the Candy – Check your child’s candy for signs of it being tampered with. Your local ER may be willing to X-ray the candy to check for harmful objects.
Now that we’ve reviewed the basic Halloween safety rules, let’s talk about how to keep your child’s smile healthy despite all of the treats!
Stay Healthy Without Ruining the Fun
We all tend to believe that the best part of Halloween is all of the candy, but your kids are going to take your lead on that. You can change your family culture to make the most out of getting dressed up, walking around the neighborhood together, or maybe trying to scare one another on that day. It is possible to make candy second best. That’s not to say candy can’t play a role, but here are some tips to keep it in its place.
- Set a Candy Limit – Decide ahead of time how many pieces of candy your little one can have on Halloween night. Stick to your limit.
- Be Careful About What You Keep – We recommend going through all of the candy as soon as you get home. Check that it’s safe, and then decide which candies you want to keep. We recommend only keeping the candy that is quick to eat and easy to brush away, like chocolate. Avoid candy that is super sticky, super hard, or takes a super long time to eat as these all increase risk of damage to little teeth.
- Consider a Trade-In Program – You don’t have to go anywhere special to do this: you can do it at home! Allow your child to “buy” a toy or shirt or pair of shoes they’ve been eyeing with their candy. They can trade it in to you in exchange for something that will last a lot longer.
- Donate Extra Candy – What do you do with all this candy? Consider donating some (or all) to a program like Soldiers’ Angels, which will use the candy to brighten a soldier’s day.
Check back on the blog for more Halloween tips and tricks! October is a wonderful month here in Cincinnati, so let’s enjoy it! Call 513-802-9440 to set up a family appointment.