Halloween candy and safety


            The time is coming for all little goblins to trick or treat. Here are some thoughts for parents to consider.

When it comes to candy:

  • The quantity is not as important as the frequency. Ingesting more candy at one time is preferable to having a little bit several times a day.

  • Eating candy and other sweets is less damaging to the child if it is eaten with a meal or immediately after a meal.

  • We frequently label some foods as healthy, even though they are just as damaging as candy. Raisins, dried fruit, and fruit roll-ups are like candy because they stay on the teeth the same way that candy does.

  • Brushing and flossing soon after eating candy is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay. Help your child to remember this if he eats his candy at home.

  • Teach your child that rinsing the mouth with water is an alternative method in the event that he cannot brush or floss after he eats candy.

  • As a teacher, I have observed that children are frequently sick early in November. Sugar suppresses the immune system. This is borne out by the number of illnesses that I see at school within the week after Halloween.

  • To help ensure a safer evening when your kids are out in their costumes:

  • Wear light or reflective costumes.

  • Since masks can cover or obscure the eyes, makeup is a better choice.

  • Flashlights help to show where kids are going.

  • Stay on the sidewalk and out of the road where cars are driving.

  • Only go to homes that have a front light on. This is a good indication that the residents are ready for you.

  • Accompany your children. Staying at the curb is preferable to staying at home.

  • Stay outside the home. Donít go inside if invited by the host, unless itís a neighbor you know.

  • Donít eat any candy or treats until you get home. Let parents inspect all treats; donít let children eat treats if the packaging is open or damaged.

Jay Davidson lives in Palo Alto and has been teaching in San Francisco for 31 years; he teaches first grade. He is the author of Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís  Advice for Parents, which is available for $12.95 at Amazon.com. He can be reached at www.jaydavidson.com.


All columns are copyright © Jay Davidson.  Permission is hereby granted for individuals to download and copy them for individual use.  There is a modest charge for printing these columns in any publication.  To receive that permission, contact   Jay Davidson