How to Have a Healthy Halloween

Trick-or-treating safety, smart Halloween costumes, healthy treats, pumpkin carving help, and special celebrations.
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Trick-or-Treating Safety

Clown and Ghost Costumes
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Be sure to trick-or-treat with a

Whether you're a homeowner or a young trick-or-treater, Halloween can be one of best holidays. It doesn't require a huge gathering of people, or days spent baking and cooking in the kitchen like Thanksgiving and Christmas so often do. Instead, you get to dress up as someone completely different, and you get candy for doing so!

But Halloween does have its pitfalls -- most notably the stomachache you get from eating too much candy corn. Or the smashed pumpkins on your doorstep. Indeed, millions of kids running around in the dark and eating tons of chocolate is a recipe for mischief and more.

So we've compiled a guide to having a healthy Halloween -- everything from safe pumpkin-carving tips to candy alternatives. Enjoy!

Tips for Teen Trick-or-Treaters

1. Travel in groups. Go only to the houses of people you know. Younger children should be accompanied by a responsible older person.

2. Carry flashlights.

3. Carry a mobile phone for quick communication.

4. Stay focused on your surroundings. If harassed or threatened, go into the closest store/restaurant and ask to use the phone. Call parents and/or police. Let the proprietors know that your group feels unsafe.

5. Be very cautious around jack-o'-lanterns with lit candles. Keep an eye out for flames and/or candles on porches.

6. Consider alternatives to trick-or-treating. Alternatives include house or school parties or volunteering at a haunted-house project.

Tips for Drivers

1. Clear the driver's view. Be sure that neither the driver's costume nor anything else in the car obstructs the driver's view.

2. Wear a seat belt. Be sure your passengers are wearing a safety belt, even if they have to take off part of their costume to attach it.

3. Drive slowly and defensively. Don't assume that a pedestrian, especially an excited youngster in a costume, will move as you expect. Keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters darting out from parked cars.

Tips for Homeowners

1. Replace burned-out bulbs in exterior lights. Leave your exterior lights on later than usual -- perhaps even all night.

2. Clear the pathway. Make sure the path to your door is well lighted and your lawn is clear of things that could be tripped over, such as jack-o'-lanterns with lit candles, ladders, garden hoses, flowerpots, bikes, and animal leashes.

3. Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and stairs.

4. Keep excitable pets away from the door. You'll have a safer and calmer house if you keep Fido away from where you are dispensing the treats.

5. Put your car in the garage. Lock your garage doors.

Continued on page 2:  Smart Costumes


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