From the time I was three years old, Halloween has been one of my favorite holidays. It was likely the costumes and candy, but maybe I was secretly excited that Halloween meant old Saint Nick would soon follow. Either way, I loved growing up in NYC, and autumn was always magical. As a kid, there was a tight-knit group of friends on our block, and every year someone’s parents would throw an amazing Halloween party for us, and those memories I hold dear. Being part of that neighborhood gave me a sense of pride and belonging. It was constant, familiar, and comforting. And now, as a mother of four who has finally planted roots in southern California, I’m thrilled for my kids to have similar Halloween traditions.
Like most cautious moms, before we dive into those traditions, I think it’s important we address the health, and safety when it comes to our kids’ natural curiosities and all that extra candy lying around the house. And with daddy being a dentist, it is my pleasure to team up with my favorite parent resource, Know Your OTCs to share important tips for keeping those teeth and gums healthy, along with some important reminders to keep your kids safe this Halloween.
Candy corn was originally called “chicken feed.”
Don’t Forget Your Teeth
As parents, we not only pass on our genes to our children, but we pass on our habits as well. They look to us for everything, from how we should treat one another, to what we should eat, to how we can make the most of each day, and how we should take care of ourselves. By the time we’re adults, most of us are pretty stellar teeth brushers. But do we know how to educate our children on important details like how much toothpaste to use when brushing? Lucky for me, daddy is a dentist and agrees that our friends at Know Your OTCs know their stuff!
Follow the Guidelines
- Kids under 3 should use a grain of rice-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Children 3-6 years old should use a pea-sized amount to minimize swallowing.
- Supervise kids 8 and under to develop good brushing and rinsing habits.
This year, the National Retail Federation projects Americans will spend over $9 billion on this spooky holiday.
Let’s face it, kids are curious! It’s one of their best features. That being said, if we as parents aren’t careful, this curiosity could lead to accidents. This Halloween season, take a minute to make sure all of your over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are stored in a safe place—up, away, and out of sight. Candy resembles the look and color of some OTC medicines. Younger kids can be easily confused. Unfortunately, every day in the U.S., four busloads of kids are seen in emergency rooms due to accidental medicine ingestion.
3 Simple & Proactive Tips For Safety
- Store all of your medicines safely. Put them up, away, and out of sight.
- Never ever refer to medicines as candy and teach your kids that only parents or a caregiver can give them medicine.
- Keep the Poison Control number handy: 800-222-1222
According to Guinness World Records, the highest number of lit jack o’ lanterns on display was 30,581 by the City of Keene, N.H. in 2013.
Be the Best Example
Mothering, wife-ing, educating, and creating give me purpose, and make me the person I am. And no matter how blissful or chaotic it can all be at times, I have the eyes and ears of my four mini spectators watching, listening, and learning straight from their mom. Because with all that they observe, there are a few routines that are non-negotiables in our household, designed to instill healthy habits. At the top of the list? Best practices with oral hygiene (or simply brushing teeth twice a day).
Halloween is an incredibly exciting time of year for most kids. And for parents, it’s incredibly busy with class parties, costume shopping (or making!), pumpkin carving, and trick-or-treating. This year, let’s all mom together and put safety with oral hygiene at the forefront of our fun! I encourage all of you to visit KnowYourOTCs.org to be in the know with the best parental tips. Let’s keep our kids happy, healthy, and safe this Halloween!
The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, takes place on November 1 and November 2 in Mexico and a few other Hispanic countries.