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Halloween Health

Don’t let your health get tricked this Halloween! Here are a few ways to stay safe and healthy.

1. Get Moving

Carve out time to be active this Halloween – between get-togethers and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Take a walk and do some weight training to help you feel good!

Regular physical activity can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, improve mental health and mood, and increase your chance of living longer.

2. Eat Well

Don’t spend this Halloween filling up on junk food and sweets. Give yourself and your guests healthier choices and nutritious treats.

Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

3. Keep Your Bite Healthy

Keep Halloween candy at bay. Care for teeth the right way – brush with a fluoride toothpaste each and every day.

Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

4. Play it Safe

Take precautions to stay safe while trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Watch out for cars, use reflective gear, walk with a group, and carry a flash light.

Check out CDC’s Injury Center for tips to stay safe at home, on the road, and at play.

5. Scare Away the Flu and Colds

Don’t get spooked by the flu. Wash your hands frequently and get a flu vaccine, too!

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones and learn about good health habitsthat can help stop germs.

6. Don’t Be a Zombie

Sleep is important– even on Halloween! Adults need 7-8 hours each night. It’s best for staying healthy and helping the disease fight!

Insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Make Brushing Teeth Fun

Tooth brushing doesn’t have to be a boring chore. Turn it into fun time that kids enjoy.

The American Dental Association suggests:

  • Skip the timer and turn on your child’s favorite two-minute song. Or read a silly story using fun voices to keep the child entertained.
  • Don’t let kids skip brushing teeth, no matter what the day has been like. Make it part of the bedtime routine that isn’t negotiable.
  • Create a reward chart and offer praise when your child does a good job brushing teeth. Allow the child to choose a reward, such as selecting a bedtime story.
  • Let your child pick out a fun toothbrush.
  • Brush teeth together!

Prepare Your Child for the Dentist

dentistGoing to the dentist can be scary for our children.  The American Dental Association provides these suggestions to help ease their fears and increase the likelihood of an enjoyable experience.

  • Making sure your child brushes twice a day. Ensure that kids aged 6 and younger are supervised and have help brushing.
  • Scheduling the appointment when your child isn’t likely to be tired. For younger kids, don’t schedule it during naptime. For older kids, don’t schedule the visit after a long school day.
  • Allowing the older child — presumably the one with the most experience — to go first and serve as a role model for the others.
  • Making sure your child has had a snack before the appointment to avoid irritability from hunger.
  • Making sure you stay calm, even if your child acts nervous before the appointment.