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A Happy Halloween Means Safety First
Date:10/27/2007

"Start ahead of time. The day before Halloween start talking to your kids about all the treats they are going to get. Talk about how fun it would be to divide up candy, so it can be enjoyed over several days," Diekman said in a prepared statement.

Dividing treats into small packages that can be eaten over an extended period of time prevents overindulging and gives children something to look forward to over the coming weeks.

Here are more safety tips, courtesy of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the U.S. National Safety Council (NSC), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI):

  • Over-the-counter decorative contact lenses as part of a Halloween costume can lead to serious eye problems like inflammation, pain, corneal abrasions and even blinding infections, the AAO warns. To protect eyes, lenses should be fitted by an eye-care professional.
  • Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth after eating Halloween candy. Treats like sticky taffy and gummy bears are less likely to be washed away by saliva, and long-lasting lollipops and hard candies keep sugar and preservatives in a child's mouth, increasing the risk for cavities, according to the ADA.
  • If your child has allergies, the AAAAI suggests handing out allergy-safe candies to neighbors beforehand, so they can give them to your child when he or she comes trick-or-treating. Do the same for classroom Halloween parties by packing treats from home for your allergic child.
  • Peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk and soy are the most common causes of food allergies in children. Allergic symptoms include headache, nausea, sneezing and coughing, hives, swelling of lips, tongue and throat and itching. More dangerous symptoms can be difficulty breathing, hoarseness or a lump in the throat or tingling in hands, feet, lips or scalp. If your child exhibits any of these latter symptoms
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