“Trick or Treat?”

Hallowe’en has already landed at my house with bats and pumpkins up on every window. Physical activity levels were way up on Friday night at the elementary school dance, where my older child danced with friends and the younger one spent two hours running around in some elaborate game of chase with his grade one pals. I’m not sure how many calories can be burned bobbing for apples, but all of these fun activities added to the magic of Hallowe’en.

There are many tips on-line to provide helpful hints on how to have a healthier Hallowe’en – including giving out rubber balls rather than candy, which is one I may take on next year.

  1. National UNICEF Day is October 31
  2. Simple tips from Dr. Denis Leduc past-President of Canadian Pediatric Society
  3. Tips from the dental perspective

If you already know that your ghosts and goblins are primed to collect candy around the neighbourhood, then keep them safe with appropriate lights, shoes and make sure their costumes aren’t too long for them. Walking rather than running is a good tip for safety, but I did see one blog that suggested having them hop from house to house to increase their activity levels! You be the judge of how slippery and dark your night is and what’s appropriate.

The usual checks are needed once you get back home.  Parents have to check the candy and other items to ensure they are safe before the kids start in on them. Eating the candy at a selected time (like after a healthy dinner) is better for their teeth than eating small bits all day long. And tucking the candy out of sight (if not always out of mind) and giving treats out a few per day is better than allowing the kids to gorge themselves.

My family tip is to put flashlights rather than candles in your pumpkins – safer for the kids coming up your stairs, and you can cook the pumpkins after the fact and freeze for pies and muffins the rest of the year!

How do you ensure a safe and happy Hallowe’en for your family? Let us know!

Samantha Hartley-Folz
Manager, Policy and Programs

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