Healthy Living

Health and safety tips for Halloween

Friday, October 26, 2012

If you've got big Halloween plans, here are some important and timely safety tips. A first-of-its-kind study finds very few parents take the time to talk to their kids about staying safe while trick-or-treating. It's a conversation pediatricians say every parent should have.

More than twice as many kids are killed in traffic accidents on Halloween between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. compared to the same hours on other days. That's why the chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Southern California says you should talk to your kids about potential dangers before the big night.

"Making sure that you give them that message of 'try and stay safe and sane' in the midst of the risk of Halloween. But at the same time still have a fun time and a fun night," said Dr. Robert Riewerts, Kaiser Permanente.

Other expert tips include:

- Never let kids trick-or-treat alone.

- Carry a flashlight or wear other reflective accessories.

- Look both ways before you cross a street.

- Stay alert.

While 73 percent of parents let their kids trick-or-treat door to door, many other parents, like Alecia Widdows, stick to school parties or community events.

"I would definitely tell them to watch for the cars and not to do any crazy stuff because it can be a very dangerous night," said Widdows.

Having a safe and healthy Halloween also means keeping a lid on the candy.

"They probably eat like one or two, and that's it. And then mommy enjoys all the candy after, watching a movie!" said Baldwin Park resident Maria Perez.

The candy stash can be a big temptation for parents. Doctors recommend eating no more than two to three pieces a day. A handful of candy can be an unnecessary 24 teaspoons of sugar.

"So maybe let them have candy that one night and then try and dole it out over the next few weeks, once a week or once a day at the most, and maybe even consider getting rid of the candy the next day after Halloween," said Riewerts.

Riewerts also suggests families have a healthy dinner before hitting the trick-or-treat trail. And lead by example: Don't eat all the candy if you're telling your kids not to.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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health, healthy living, denise dador
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