CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — CBS 6 spoke to the experts to ensure your family and children are safe before, during and after trick-or-treating this Halloween.
Cpl. Matt Rogers with the Chesterfield Police Community Services Unit shared the following safety tips when trick-or-treating.
- Make sure costumes are brightly colored or have reflective tape on them.
- Wear shoes that fit properly in a costume that makes it easy to walk and move around
- Carry a flashlight so you can see and be seen easily.
- Wear makeup instead of a face mask if possible. If you must wear a mask, take it off when you are walking so you can see everything around you.
- Make sure a parent goes with trick-or-treaters. Going in groups, with adult supervision, is safe and fun (if you are too old to have a parent go, then you are too old to trick-or-treat).
- Go to houses in your neighborhood where you know the homeowners.
- Trick-or-treat in well-lit areas and remember, if the lights are off at a house don't stop there.
- Use a sidewalk where available and when using a roadway, walk to the left. This way you can see the traffic that is approaching, and they can see you. Cross at corners and resist the urge to cross the street between parked cars.
- Plan a route with your family ahead of time and stick to it.
- Never enter anyone’s home without your parent.
- Have your parents check all your treats before eating. Throw away any candy or food that is not wrapped by the candy company. If there are any suspicious treats, notify the police.
Trick-or-treaters should expect generous hauls on Halloween with more than $3 billion worth of candy is expected to be purchased this season, according to the National Retail Federation. 67% of people plan to pass out candy.
Another issue beyond obtaining the candy is the impact all of those sweets can have on your teeth.
Dr. David Voth with Virginia Family Dentistry in Ashland also serves as president-elect of the Virginia Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
The consumption of candy by kids goes up 15 times what is is throughout the year, which comes out to roughly two to three cups of extra sugar, according to Voth.
“If you’re snacking on one piece of candy every five or 10 minutes for six hours, it puts your mouth at a much higher risk of getting a cavity than say if you had a pice of candy at the end of the meal,” he explained.
Voth said avoid candies high in citric acids like caramel or sticky candy which will break down your teeth more than something like dark chocolate.
He shared this advice for parents and children after trick-or-treating:
- Brush your teeth or swish your mouth with water after a treat
- Do not consume candy throughout the day, save it for a treat after a meal
- Avoid chewy and sour candies
- Look for dark chocolates that are low in sugar
- Give away your candy the next day
As the holidays approach, the VDA encourages parents and kids alike to schedule preventative dental care appointments now to maintain optimal oral health.
Approximately 40% of dental practices nationwide are looking to hire new staff members to meet patient demand so reach out to your dentist today to get your appointment scheduled.