Do you want to hear something scary? Like, really scary?
The average trick-or-treater will collect anywhere between 3,500 and 7,000 calories in their loot bags on Halloween night.
Not only that, but they’re what’s considered “discretionary calories,” which means their nutritional value is a grand total sum of zero.
What’s more, your kids are probably going to try to consume all 7,000 of those calories before retiring for the evening.
Perhaps now is a good time to set some ground rules before you hit the ground running on Oct. 31st. Here are some helpful trick-or-treating tips to help parents and guardians maintain their sanity this year:
- Eat before you trick-or-treat. In other words, make sure your kids have full bellies before they go door to door for those sugary treats. For one, it provides ample fuel for a power walk around the neighborhood. And while it won’t keep the kids from dumping out their bags onto the floor the second they step inside the door, with a little luck – it should put a damper on binging.
- To that end, don’t allow mid-trick-or-treating snacking. Dark streets and swarms of pint-sized Paw Patrol characters don’t provide an ideal environment for candy inspection, which leads us to our next point…
- Inspect your treats – carefully. Chances are everything is just fine (see more below). Still, toss out anything that appears to have been tampered with, or with loose or torn wrappers. Also, discard anything homemade or not packaged commercially – unless you are certain where and who it came from.
- Prevent choking hazards. Gum, jaw breakers, and other hard candies are not advised for smaller children. Additionally, doctors suggest finding an alternate treat for your children who are younger than 2 years of age. Not only can these sweets be a choking hazard for toddlers, but added sugar at such a formative age can contribute to the development of a sweet tooth.
- Resist the urge to ban candy outright. This will only stoke the flames of desire for a Reese’s feeding frenzy, and could very well lead to deceptive or sneaky behavior. Besides, Halloween is a fun time to spend with family and friends. Keep moderation in mind, and make the most out of this spookiest of nights!
- Going to a masquerade party after making the rounds? Beware of bobbing for apples. Although it’s a time-honored tradition, it’s also a bucket full of soggy bacteria just waiting to hitch a ride home with your child. Encourage the apple, but consider a different game this Halloween.
- Similarly, cider is an autumn staple – but make sure beverages are always pasteurized. Trick’s on you, salmonella!
While horror stories of sinister treats have circulated for decades, the prevalence of such activity is relatively uncommon. In fact, reports of randomly distributed poisoned candy have never been documented.
A much more tangible danger exists on the streets themselves. Because far more children are out in force on Halloween night, along with many older drivers making bad holiday decisions, the risk of a vehicular accident increases exponentially. Add to that trips and falls caused by ill-fitting costumes and masks that impair vision, allergic reactions from face and eye makeup, and slips with sharp instruments when carving a pumpkin – and candy is a distant, sweet second on a list of Halloween safety concerns.
For that reason, check out last year’s Halloween safety tips before heading out this Oct. 31. Take precautions, be safe, and – most importantly – have fun. Make some new memories in 2017 with your children that you can share throughout the years.
Questions? KinderMender’s offices will be open Halloween night! Feel free to give us a call!