As we often do at this time of year, we take this opportunity to remind our readers about a few Halloween safety tips that should help to ensure all your little trick or treaters have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. Contrary to popular belief, Dentists don’t cringe at the thought of Halloween and despite the persistent rumours that surface each year (and that we’ve tried to dispel in previous blogs) we don’t hand out toothbrushes and toothpaste either! We’re all for treats just as much as your little ones are – we just want everyone to enjoy their treats in moderation and that any “tricks” involved don’t compromise safety.
Here then, just in time for Halloween, is our handy list of Top Ten Trick or Treat Tips:
- Always ensure that all little ones are accompanied by a responsible adult.
- Tweens and young teens, itching to go out on their own should have a plan and a cell phone. Know the general street layout these youngsters will take. Have an agreed upon meeting spot if someone gets separated and make sure they have a cell phone to be able to reach an adult if they need help.
- All costumes for kids of any age should include some strategically placed bright, reflective tape for safety.
- Try to avoid costumes with a mask – they impede sight lines meaning even the smallest of steps becomes a tripping hazard and can make crossing the road dangerous.
- Ensure the costume fits well. Costumes with long flowing robes or skirts can also pose a tripping hazard, as can ill-fitting “costume” shoes or boots.
- Trick or treat in your own neighbourhood where the streets are familiar and where many of the faces of your neighbours will be too.
- Stay on one side of the street and cross only at an intersection. Darting back and forth across the middle of the road is dangerous and unnecessary!
- Remind your children not to eat any treats until they come home. It’s still important to verify what’s in their bag and make sure that everything is safe, wrapped and appropriate for them to consume. This is especially true of course when you have a little one with any kind of food allergies. It helps to ensure the kids have had a good dinner prior to heading out – it’ll give them energy for the night and with full bellies, they are less likely to want to “nosh” on treats along the way.
- Carry water. Running from house to house is thirsty work! Keep the kids well hydrated and let’s be honest, drinking water helps flush the mouth of any sticky residue IF you do decide to let the kids enjoy some candy.
- Sort the candy as soon as you get home, even if it’s late. Agree on how much you will allow your child to eat Halloween night and what, if any, is acceptable to go to school with them the next day. Helping children set boundaries around candy consumption, while also giving them some autonomy in setting those boundaries, is an important life skill in terms of learning balance, control and moderation. You may actually find your child consumes less overall if their candy isn’t taken away from them but rather, they are given control over how to make it last.
The team here at Brinkley Dental wishes everyone a safe, happy and enjoyable Halloween. Be careful of the large “jawbreaker” type candies – don’t bite down too hard and risk chipping a tooth. Avoid the licorice, caramel and popcorn if you are currently sporting orthodontia. Perhaps you can trade with a younger sibling for some other kind of treat. Remember to ensure the kids give their teeth a little extra brush before going to bed on Halloween night to ensure all the little bits and pieces of candy, gum and chocolate are gone from the mouths of your little ghosts and goblins. Also, flossing is not a bad idea. We’re always happy to see you here at the Brinkley Dental Office in Brampton but we hope not to have to see you as a result of a Halloween dental emergency! As always, we’ll end with our usual reminder: “don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”
Happy Halloween from the Brinkley Dental Team!