LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Getting into the Spirit: A Safe & Healthy Halloween

Halloween costumes

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LSU Health New Orleans faculty, staff and students really got into the Halloween spirit this year, showing off costumes from the frightful to the fanciful. In true New Orleans fashion, we love to dress up!

So your little ghosts and goblins have a safe, happy and healthy evening of trick-or-treating in their Halloween finery, they offer some tips for parents:

Halloween costumes
Make sure your child’s costume isn’t so long it’s a trip hazard and that it doesn’t restrict movement. It should also be flame-resistant.

To improve your child's vision, consider using non-toxic make-up instead of a mask. You can improve your child’s visibility by adding reflective tape to dark costumes and treat bags.

Be sure to feed your children a good meal prior starting out, so they won’t fill up on candy.

LSU Health New Orleans pediatric dentist Dr. Suzanne Fournier says the longer the candy is in the mouth, the greater the chance for cavities to form. She recommends limiting sticky candies like gummies, caramels, and taffy, as well as sour candies. Softer treats are best for children with braces, and it’s wise to avoid tiny pieces of candy, which can slip inside wires and pop brackets off. Dr. Fournier suggests using smaller bags for treats and giving your kids eat a piece or two with a meal to keep your child’s teeth from being bathed in the acids produced by sugar. Eating a meal increases saliva production, which helps flush the acids.
Controlling the frequency of exposure to sweets is the key to reducing the chance of cavities, she says. “I’d almost rather see parents let them indulge within reason on Halloween night and be done with it than extend it over an entire month of nibbling.”

To avoid that, there are a number of good ways to get rid of all that left over candy. You could donate it. You can freeze your children’s favorites to add to everything from milkshakes to cupcakes. You can use it for counting to boost math skills. And if you want it to disappear really fast, send it to work with mom and dad!

Halloween costume