Emergency -

University of South Florida

Halloween Fun

Spooky dinners, complete with green garlic bread and brain-like spaghetti!

Quick photo in the driveway before friends arrive. Witch, Bat Girl and, of course, Hermione all accounted for.

These Halloween moments are what make this holiday so memorable. There’s just something about that frenzied excitement before the first “Trick or Treat.”

With the kids more than ready to go and the parents rallying to not miss out on the fun, it’s important to take a moment and keep a couple of helpful tips in mind.

Richard Roetzheim, MD, Professor and Chair of USF Health’s Family Medicine department shared, “Kids can get caught up in the excitement so parents should take the lead on setting the ground rules.”

“Halloween is once a year, but it’s always good to pace the candy to avoid tummy troubles and to use common sense when walking in the dark,” said Dr. Roetzheim.

Have fun and stay safe with these tips:

  • Have a healthy dinner to curb upcoming candy binge, as much as possible.
  • Try to adapt costumes to the weather. A Florida Halloween can be hot and sweaty or cool, depending on the year.
  • Humidity can bring out the bugs, so bug spray could be good to have on hand. Never want to cut trick or treating short due to bug bites!
  • Enjoy the fun that comes with the raw, over the moon excitement that comes with kids ready to trick or treat. But also realize that for some younger kids, Halloween can be scary. Anticipating these possible reactions can help parents cope with their little one’s emotional rollercoaster.
  • It’s a good idea to have a pep talk with the kiddos on staying on sidewalks, crossing the street, and the hazards of walking in the dark….like don’t push your sister! Halloween in the ER, means less candy.
  • Be careful of oversized costumes, masks and makeup that can obstruct visibility, and poor lighting, these can all contribute to falls and that’s no fun.

Once everyone’s feet begin to hurt, and the costumes are beginning to dismantle from their former glory, it’s time for the family unit to wander home to the spaghetti dishes in the sink and the dumping of the Halloween candy on the kitchen table.

Don’t forget to check your children’s treats to make sure they are safe! Be careful sorting through the mountains of candy, they get territorial. And be weary of those two year olds who have an iron grasp and love the word MINE!

Written By: Kathleen Rogers

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