Kids, young and old, can’t wait for Oct. 31st each year; it’s Halloween! Whether you love the decorations, look forward to parties or just love candy, there are plenty of things you can do to make the official start of the holiday season plenty of fun, and far less fearful and frightful!

At Faith Community Health System, we want all our neighbors to have a fun Halloween. But, more importantly, we want to make sure all trick-or-treaters enjoy a safe, healthy holiday.

Here are 5 things you can do to scare off problems that can ruin a good time.

  1. But first, food! Of course, people can’t wait to get into their costumes and take to the neighborhood for candy collection. While Halloween is a day to indulge, you don’t have to send the kiddos out on an empty stomach.

“A healthy meal can fill their bellies and start off trick or treating fun on the right foot,” said Shawn White, chief medical officer of Faith Community Hospital. “Kids will be less tempted to eat every piece of candy they collect if they have full tummies.”

  1. Speaking of costumes… Do everything to discourage costumes that are too big or require kids to hold accessories or wear masks that obscure their vision. No one wants holiday fun to be interrupted by a trip to the Faith Emergency Department thanks to a trip and fall.

  1. Save some for others! When selecting a treat sack, you don’t need to send the kids out with a sandwich baggie – but you also don’t have to give them a pillow case! Save monster bags for leaf collection and find a happy medium so your kids feel like they are getting a haul, while you know it’s a modest haul.

“You can also make a bit of a sneaky suggestion,” Dr. White said. “Encourage your ghosts and goblins to take only one piece of candy per house – so they can visit more houses! In the end, you’ll have fewer pieces of candy to sort. Shhhh! They’ll never know!”

  1. Walk it off! You can add some exercise to trick or treating by making it a family event. A nice long walk will also tire them out sooner!

  1. Final inspections are a must. Let’s allow children to be children for as long as possible. But, as adults, we know there is still reason to inspect candy before allowing the kids to indulge. (Don’t forget to remind them they can only eat treats given out by friends and family members during trick or treating. Everything else must be inspected by mom or dad prior to unwrapping!)

Look for expired foods, items with allergens that may impact your child and anything with unknown ingredients. Your good judgment will rule the day in this arena!

As a reminder, Faith Community Hospital’s Emergency Department is open 24/7 to care for all members of your family.