How To Keep Kids Healthy This Halloween

Halloween is a fun tradition that the whole family can enjoy.  But it’s also important to be aware of unique health risks the holiday poses.  For instance, twice as many children are hit by cars from 4-10 p.m. on Halloween than during any other time of the year.  Here are five tips to help you keep your children safe, happy and healthy this year.

1) Make sure your child is visible.

When it comes to keeping your child safe this Halloween, it’s important to make sure they’re visible to motorists as well as the adults who are accompanying them.  Consider picking a light-colored costume, trick-or-treating before sunset, carrying a flashlight, applying reflective strips to their costume, and walking on well-lit sidewalks.

2) Get your steps in.

Trick-or-treating can be a fun opportunity for the whole family to get exercise together!  Plan a well-lit walking route that allows you to get in as many steps as possible. Exercise has lots of benefits for your physical and mental health, and it can help offset the Halloween candy calories!

3) Eat before you go.

If you’re hungry while you’re trick-or-treating, you’ll be more likely to fill up on sweets that are high in fat, sugar and calories.  To avoid overindulging on unhealthy snacks, fill up with a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water before you leave the house.

4) Keep candy out of sight.

Once your children bring their candy stashes home, it’s helpful to keep the candy out of sight.  If you put the candy on top of the fridge or in a cupboard instead of leaving it on the counter, you’ll all be less tempted to fill up on sugary, high-calorie treats.  Instead, you can be mindful of how much sugar your family’s consuming, and ration the candy more slowly.

5) Brush your teeth.

Because Halloween candy contains so much sugar, it’s important to not only ration the

amount of candy children eat, but also to remind them to brush their teeth at least twice a day to avoid cavities and bacteria build-up. ( Click here to read more reasons oral health matters to your whole body! )

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At Golden Gate Urgent Care, we’re here seven days a week to care for you and your family!  Make an appointment online or simply walk-in to get the care you need.

Author
Sarah Thebarge MMSc, PA-C Sarah Thebarge earned her physician assistant degree at Yale School of Medicine, and then studied journalism at Columbia School of Journalism. She has been a physician assistant and a freelance journalist since 2004. In addition to caring for patients at Golden Gate Urgent Care, Sarah frequently volunteers her medical skills in the developing world. Her writing has appeared in Huffington Post, USA Today and National Geographic, and her blog was featured on MSNBC.com. She is the author of the memoir The Invisible Girls and the upcoming book WELL: Healing our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa. She currently lives in the Mission District of San Francisco.

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