Celebrating Halloween safely: tricks for ghouls from young to old

Trick-or-treating on Halloween night can be supernaturally fun and safe at the same time. Photo: AP photo by Itsuo Inouye

SAN DIEGO, October 29, 2013 — Trick-or-treating on Halloween night can be supernaturally fun and safe at the same time.

As millions of children flood their neighborhoods anticipating sugary treats and other delights, it is wise to consider the best approaches to protecting them and ensuring their safety.

In her article “20 Best Cities for Trick-or-Treating,” published in Parade, Vi-An Nguyen recommends carefully assessing the safety of trick-or-treating by considering the following risk factors: 

-How easy it is to travel around the city by walking.
-How dense the population is.
-How valuable the homes are.
-Local crime rate.

Nguyen’s top 20 American cities believed to be the best for trick-or-treating in order of their ranking: San Francisco, Boston, Honolulu, San Jose, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Portland, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Miami, Denver, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Virginia Beach.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends their SAFE HALLOWEEN safety tips to ensure shrieks of Halloween excitement from the entire family:

S - Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

A - Avoid trick-or-treating alone.

F - Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

E - Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating.

 

H - Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating. Walk and do not run.

A  - Always test make-up in a small area first.

L  - Look both ways before crossing the street.

L  - Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

O  - Only walk on sidewalks, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic.

W  - Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes.

E  - Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

E  - Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult.

N  - Never walk near lit candles or luminaries.

For more Halloween safety tips, go to http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/.

Senior citizens can be extremely vulnerable to potential Halloween dangers, especially if they live alone.

Opening their doors to strangers might unnecessarily invite unwanted guests.

Seeing children in their creative costumes, while also experiencing the gaiety of the Halloween evening, might be compelling to a lonely senior.

Joe Imel / AP

It is possible that memories of their own childhood, or those of their now-grown children, could become overwhelming.

While there is every reason for the generations to come together in moments of joy, excitement, and laughter during the Halloween season, seniors must pay particular attention to their well-being and safety.

According to Becky Miller, in her article, “Safe Halloween For Senior Citizens,” published in “Mastercare Newsletter,” it would be a good idea if a senior citizen would consider: 

-Having a younger friend or relative come over to help pass out treats.
-Going to a neighbor or family member’s house to pass out candy.
-Keeping the chain locked on the door with just enough space to pass out candy.
-Not letting anyone unknown into your home to use the restroom or phone.

Practicing safety ensures that fun-filled Halloween memories bring smiles to the faces of those who experienced it.

To help preserve those Halloween smiles, remember that not all Halloween candy is created equal. In fact, sticky and chewy Halloween candies such as candy corn and gummy bears are considered among the worst for teeth, according to the article, “Worst Halloween candy for your teeth,” by DeltaDental.

And what candy do they consider to be the best for healthy teeth? Chocolate is the winner, because it melts quickly and doesn’t stick to your teeth.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities” columnist since 2011, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2013 by At Your Home Familycare


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Laurie Edwards-Tate

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today.

Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top  Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service.  Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home.

Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. 

 Follow Laurie and AYHF  at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare

Contact Laurie Edwards-Tate

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