Even if you’re not afraid of ghosts, ghouls, or goblins, you should watch out for a more commonplace horror this Halloween – germs! Many aspects of this holiday make it prime fodder for the spread of germs: children borrowing costumes, touching doorbells, digging their hands into bowls of candy, forgetting to wash their hands because they’re having so much fun . . . Plus, even if your child manages to escape those frightful germs, he or she might fall prey to another fearsome monster – sugar! Like germs, sugary candy is an inevitable part of the fun of Halloween. To ensure your child doesn’t end up with a stomach bug or a stomachache on November 1st, review and use our list of healthy Halloween tips.
Healthy Halloween Tips
Wash costumes before the big night.
Whether you plan to buy new costumes, buy used costumes, or borrow costumes, it’s important that you wash the costumes thoroughly before Halloween night. Keep in mind that even if you purchase a brand-new costume from the store, other customers may have tried on the product in the store. In fact, a test of rubber masks for sale in stores revealed that bacteria (some of which could cause a staph infection) were lurking in many of the masks. So before Halloween, launder any clothing and clean rubber masks with rubbing alcohol.
Keep the germs at home.
Has your child been feeling a bit under the weather? If you notice any sniffling or sneezing in the lead-up to October 31st, your child may need to skip the Halloween fun this year. If you’re hesitant to keep your child home, just think about all the doorbells they would touch, the candy bowls they’d rummage through, and the other children who will be doing the exact same thing. To prevent your child’s germs from invading the neighborhood, keep them home for the night.
Avoid sharing candy and costumes.
Try not to let your children and their friends share half-eaten candy or swap rubber masks during the night, as this could let germs travel from child to child. Additionally, when you greet trick-or-treaters, hand the candy out yourself. By limiting the number of hands reaching into the candy bowl, you’ll reduce the risk of germs spreading.
To further prevent the distribution of germs, be sure that your children wash their hands before they go treat-or-treating. Between houses, have your children use a travel-size alcohol-free hand sanitizer to eliminate the germs they pick up along their candy quest. Before you pass out candy to trick-or-treaters, remember to wash your own hands as well. Finally, disinfect any items that trick-or-treaters will be touching: the doorbell, the doorknocker, the doorknob, etc.
Limit sugar consumption.
Remember that what your child eats on Halloween isn’t critically important; what your child eats on the other 364 days of the year is far more consequential. So if your children typically eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, don’t panic if they spend the evening gorging on candy. However, you may wish to use these healthy Halloween tips to limit your family’s sugar consumption:
- Create a candy rule. In the days following Halloween, create a firm rule for candy consumption. For example, perhaps each child will be allowed to eat three pieces of candy from their stash each day.
- Store the candy out of sight. Instead of keeping your children’s bags of candy on the counter or in a cookie jar, hide the candy where your children can’t see it. You know what they say: Out of sight, out of mind!
- Consider donating extra candy. Did your children hit the mother lode this Halloween? Kids don’t need piles and piles of sugary sweets that will last them until next October. So if you think your child has too much candy, consider donating the extra to a homeless shelter or another worthy cause.
Check your children’s treat stash.
When your kids return home from their sugary quest, investigate their treat stash before letting them dig in. Although it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find something truly dangerous, look for questionable candies and other goodies. This is especially important if your child has a food allergy. According to the CDC, trick-or-treaters should only eat factory-produced, individually wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats from strangers or candy that shows any signs of tampering.
Ask your kids to wash their hands after trick-or-treating.
While you’re checking your children’s candy bags, ask them to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. This is the best way to reduce the amount of microbes on the hands, so it’s important that your children always wash their hands before eating – whether they’re eating lunch, dinner, or a pile of candy.
For kids, Halloween is undoubtedly one of the best nights of the entire year. You wouldn’t want that night to end in illness, would you? To keep your kids healthy this Halloween, count on SafeSpace, a family-owned company known for its disinfecting innovations. SafeSpace’s Instant Hand Sanitizer is 99% effective and contains soothing emollients to prevent dry, cracked skin. It’s perfect for everyday use, family vacations, and Halloween night! You’ll also love our Disinfectant & Deodorizing Germ Fogger and Auto Disinfecting & Deodorizing Mist – products designed to keep your family safe and healthy.
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