Wishing You and Your Family a Happy Halloween!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

picture of Halloween scene

From All of Us at “Can Do” Street On Halloween!

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Five Tips to Make Your Halloween Safe

It’s that time again …planning Halloween costumes, parties, and taking the kids trick or treating.

 Halloween

Just because Halloween celebrates scary things doesn’t mean you want any safety scares of your own.

With a little bit of planning and these five tips from Kids.gov, you can ensure your ghouls and goblins have a frightfully fun time this year.

  1. Look up your local trick-or-treating time and rules. Then plot out a map of safe neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. Let older children take the map with them if they’re trick-or-treating on their own.
  2. Stick reflective tape on dark costumes—it will help drivers see you. And make sure your kids can see clearly. Face paint may work better than a mask when it comes to visibility.
  3. Pick a perfect pumpkin for carving. It should be sturdy, not soft, with a flat bottom so it doesn’t topple over. You can also encourage your kids to paint creative faces on their pumpkins instead of carving.
  4. Consider using a glow stick or battery-powered lights instead of candles to light the way for trick-or-treating or in jack-o-lanterns, especially around little kids who could get burned or drapery that could catch fire.
  5. Screen candy before your kids eat it. Toss out anything with opened or damaged wrappers and homemade treats, unless you know the giver personally.

 Don’t forget to follow basic precautions that will make your children’s Halloween a safer night of fun.

 Source: Kids.gov

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Passing the Halloween Treats Forward

halloween

This Halloween why not encourage your Trick or Treaters to share some of their Halloween bounty with others who could use a treat?

Let’s face it, kids don’t need all the candy they get on Halloween. Sharing their bounty is a great way of practicing kindness and generosity.

Here are a few suggestions as to what to do with the Halloween candy your children are willing to share with others:

  • What a treat it would be for residents of a senior assisted living facility to receive a visit from young children in costumes giving out a part of their goodies. What happy memories it would bring back for the seniors! What a lasting memory it would be for the children to witness the happiness they were giving just by sharing a little bit of their time and a few pieces of candy.
  • There are children who will not get to go trick or treating. Two groups of children that will not be trick or treating are those that live in homeless shelters with their moms, and those that live with their moms in safe houses for domestic violence victims. You will need to call your local Dept of Social Services to find out where you can drop off Halloween candies for these two groups. Their exact locations, especially domestic violence safe houses, are not given out to the public.
  • Another good use for all that extra Halloween candy-send it in a care package to our troops serving overseas.  This could be a great school, church or recreation center group project.  How wonderful for child to get a letter from a soldier, who is overseas, thanking him or her for sharing Halloween. For more information on how to collect and where to send the candy go to:

www.dosomething.org/actnow/actionguide/how-collect-halloween-candy-our-troops#

 

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‘Lucky 13’ Tips for a Safe Halloween

Safe Halloween‘Lucky 13’ Tips for a Safe Halloween is a pass along for the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Whether you’re goblin or ghoul, vampire or witch, poor costume choices—including decorative contact lenses and flammable costumes—and face paint allergies can haunt you long after Halloween if they cause injury.

Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween by following these “lucky 13” guidelines:

  1. Wear costumes made of fire-retardant materials; look for “flame resistant” on the label. If you make your costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon to be safe.
  2. Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape and be safe because you’ll be more visible; make sure the costumes aren’t so long that you’re in danger of tripping.
  3. Wear makeup and hats, to be safe, rather than masks that can obscure your vision.
  4. To be on the safe side, test the makeup you plan to use by putting a small amount on your arm a couple of days in advance. If a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation develop where the makeup was applied, that’s a sign of a possible allergy.
  5. Check FDA’s list of color additives to see if makeup additives are FDA approved and safe for use. If they aren’t approved for their intended use, don’t use it.
  6. It is not a safe to wear decorative contact lenses unless you have seen an eye care professional and gotten a proper lens fitting and instructions for using the lenses.

Safe Treats

Eating sweet treats is also a big part of the fun on Halloween. If you’re trick-or-treating, health and safety experts say you should remember these tips:

  1. Don’t let your kids eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
  2. Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected.
  3. Tell children not to accept—or eat—anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  4. Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
  5. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

For party goers and party throwers, FDA recommends the following safe tips for two seasonal favorites:

  1. Look for the warning label to avoid juice that hasn’t been pasteurized or otherwise processed, especially packaged juice products that may have been made on site. When in doubt, ask! Always ask if you are unsure if a juice product is pasteurized or not. Normally, the juice found in your grocer’s frozen food case, refrigerated section, or on the shelf in boxes, bottles, or cans is pasteurized.
  2. Before bobbing for apples—a favorite Halloween game—reduce the amount of bacteria that might be on apples by thoroughly rinsing them under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.

Eye Safety

FDA joins eye care professionals—including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists and the American Optometric Association—in discouraging consumers from using decorative contact lenses.

These experts warn that buying any kind of contact lenses without an examination and a prescription from an eye care professional can cause serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss. Despite the fact that it’s illegal to sell decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription, FDA says the lenses are sold on the Internet and in retail shops and salons—particularly around Halloween.

The decorative lenses make the wearer’s eyes appear to glow in the dark, create the illusion of vertical “cat eyes,” or change the wearer’s eye color.

“Although unauthorized use of decorative contact lenses is a concern year-round, Halloween is the time when people may be inclined to use them, perhaps as costume accessories,” says FDA eye expert Bernard Lepri, O.D., M.S., M.Ed.. “What troubles us is when they are bought and used without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care, this can lead to significant risks of eye injuries, including blindness.”

This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

 

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The Best and Worst Halloween Candies to Eat

HalloweenBefore you head out to buy Halloween candy to give to the children trick or treating in your neighborhood, you may want to  consider what Dr. Timothy Chase, a 20-year veteran of cosmetic dentistry has to say about the good and the not so good Halloween candies.

With Halloween right around the corner, it is that time of the year again: scares and thrills around every corner.  Children are scared of scary movies, ghost stories, and scary costumes, and parents are scared of all the candy their kids will bring home.  Tiny candies in the doctor’s office or the workplace start to pop up and we can not help but indulge ourselves in these sugary treats.  There is nothing wrong with a few indulgences, however, not all Halloween candy is created equally.

When it comes to healthy teeth, certain candies can be completely detrimental to your smile, while others are less of a threat.

“Some people do not realize how important it can be to take care of your teeth,”says Dr Chase.  “Not only does a healthy smile make you look and feel better, but, dental health issues have been linked to systemic problems like heart and kidney issues and low birth weight in babies.”

Brushing and flossing are not always enough to keep your teeth healthy.  What you eat and what you do not eat can be a huge factor in how healthy your teeth are.

Keep your teeth in mind this Halloween season:

* Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth.  The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it – which could produce cavity-causing acid.

*   Hard candy such as lollipops or jawbreakers, are the second worst candies to be munching on.  Although they do not stick to your mouth, they take a long time to dissolve.  The longer a food stays in your mouth, the more acidic the environment becomes.

*   Sour candy is also bad for your teeth because it has a higher acidic content, which can break down tooth enamel.

*   While Powdery Candy such as Pixie Stix dissolve quickly in the mouth and don’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities by changing the mouth’s PH and giving bacteria straight sugar to eat.

*   Chocolate, with no sticky fillings, will generally not stick to your teeth and therefore it is a much better option if you have the urge for a sweet snack.

*   Sugar-free gum may be the best treat this Halloween season because it leaves no sticky residue, which causes plaque, and it is sweetened with xylitol – a natural sugar that the bacteria is unable to form plaque on.

*   Of course….If possible, it would be much better to put down the candy and grab a piece of fruit.

 

About Dr. Timothy Chase: Dr. Chase, D.M.D., is a practicing partner in SmilesNY, a leading cosmetic dentistry practice in New York City.  He has made it his life’s work to educate patients about the significance of possessing a healthy smile as a critical indicator of overall health and wellness.

Dr. Chase  earned a DMD degree in 1993.  He went on to complete a general practice residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital,  Westchester County Veterans Administration Hospital in 1994. Dr. Chase served as a clinical instructor at the New York University Dental School.   He is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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