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The festival of Halloween is around the corner and with that, the health and safety of children pose a serious risk, be it unhealthy foods or costume-related hazards. As famous worldwide, Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31 or the last day of harvest in American and European countries.
The day is observed by children dressing up in spooky or ghostly costumes and visiting houses for a tradition of trick-or-treating. However, this year due to COVID-19, some of the customs may look different as to maintain social distancing and stay safe in the pandemic.
In this article, we will discuss some useful tips to celebrate Halloween in a healthier way in the pandemic and otherwise. Take a look.
1. Don’t overindulge
The temptation to a plethora of snacks in Halloween can make you overindulge in extra calories and carbs. This can spike your glucose and cholesterol levels and increase the risk of diabetes, obesity or heart diseases. Avoid overindulging in sweets and junk foods and prefer eating foods which are nutritious.
2. Wear a mask and carry a sanitiser
Before sending your kids outside for trick-or-treating, make sure that they wear a mask and carry a sanitiser with them. This may prevent the entry of coronavirus from infected hands to their system. Also, do check for the percentage of alcohol in hand sanitisers and added ingredients as some may be harmful to children's skin.
3. Arrange for virtual costume parties
Staying indoors and celebrating Halloween can be funfilled as going outside may increase the risk of COVID-19 infection. To do so, you may arrange virtual costume shows, competitions or a horror movie night for children to keep up their spirit of Halloween.
4. Look out for food allergies
Halloween can get scary for children due to food allergies. As the goody bag of your child will be filled with varieties of candies and snacks during the festival, it is important to keep a check on all those edibles, as some of them may trigger allergies and cause serious complications such as breathlessness. Also, look out for expiry dates of those snacks.
5. Try alternative sugary treats
Halloween recipes are mainly sweet treats, which means an abundance of calories and carbohydrates. Replace artificial confectionaries with sweet fruits and dried fruits. Also, avoid using refined flours and instead prefer using whole grain flours. You can also skip the soda and cold drinks with pumpkin, fruit juices or honey-based cocktails.
6. Avoid junk food
Halloween is incomplete without chicken dip, meatballs and many other junk foods. This Halloween, give your family and relatives a healthy treat by replacing junk foods with a well-balanced, nutritious and filling food choices. Junk foods may lower immunity, which is an important factor during the pandemic.
7. Costume safety is important
Halloween costumes can increase the risk of road accidents. Therefore, it is important to not neglect the costume safety and take precautionary measures such as brighter and vibrant costumes for good visibility, avoiding eye masks and choosing fabrics which are flame-resistant. You can also make them carry a glowstick or handy lights.
8. Don’t miss out on sleep
Late-night Halloween parties can keep you awake for longer. Also, the lack of rest and sleep due to the preparation of the festival can decline your health. Plan the house-party according to your sleep timings and don't miss out on sleep.
9. Avoid Halloween diarrhoea
Halloween diarrhoea is one of the known health hazards during the festival. It is caused by candies which are flavoured with a substitute of sugar called sorbitol. This sugar substitute may cause many gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence, diarrhoea and stomach pain when taken in a large amount. 
10. Consider non-toxic makeup
Before using any makeup on your children to give them a spooky look, consider doing a patch test on their skin to see for any allergic reactions. This is because the skin of children are soft and delicate and most of the makeup products are mainly for adults. Therefore, their use may cause redness, itching, swelling or other allergies.
11. Avoid decorative contact lenses
Decorative contact lenses can cause serious eye problems such as inflammation, infections or vision loss in children. Therefore, it is important to avoid their usage and if you are using them, it should be prescribed by a medical expert.
12. Keep away carving tools from the reach of children
Carving pumpkins to give them a ghostly look is a tradition in Halloween. As carving tools consist of sharp blades, it is important to keep them away from the reach of children.
13. A small group is better
According to the CDC, there will be certain limitations imposed on the custom of trick-or-treating. Children will be allowed for door-to-door trick-or-treating only in smaller groups with a safe distance from others. You can also limit their visit just to families and relatives.
14. Avoid ringing doorbells with hands
Doorbells may contain coronavirus as they are touched by many people. Avoid ringing doorbells with hands and instead, use a prop to press the button every time you visit a house. Also, if in case they are touched, make sure to sanitise hands immediately.
15. Avoid treats given by strangers
Taking candies or treats from strangers can put your children at risk. Therefore, it is the parents' responsibility to make their children understand whom to trust and whom not to. Tell your children not to respond to strangers or accept anything from a stranger.