Halloween is around the corner and while families love to enjoy this time, the season poses questions for many with children, especially families of kids with diabetes. While a diabetes diagnosis should not completely control every aspect of your life and your kid’s growing up process, there is a fair share of information to keep in mind. Here are a few factors to consider with parties and trick or treating.
Being prepared is something we cannot stress enough. As Margie Lawlor, MS, states for Web MD, “Proper planning is really the key to making sure that Halloween is as fun a holiday for kids with diabetes as it is for all children.” Be ready to test your child and help them monitor their levels and what they are consuming, especially if planning on allowing a few treats Halloween night and after. You may want to set a timer to check on a more regular basis than you normally would and correct as needed. Refresh yourself on carb counts and help your child understand what choices may be better than others. Some kids like quantity and others are looking for specific tastes or quality. You can help teach them which candies and treats are the best options for what they are looking to gain. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, 30 Reese’s Pieces, 15 Skittles, 9 SweetTarts, 11 Candy Corns, or 4 Starbursts are equal to 15 grams of carbohydrates.
No Kid Should Overload
While movies and tv may show kids digging into massive piles of candy, covered from head to toe in melted chocolate, we hope this is not a reality for any of our families! We enjoy the time out, visiting with neighbors, and even digging through buckets or bags for our favorite sweets, but even on a fun night, balance and moderation is key. Make a plan with older children, diabetic or not, on how many pieces you think is appropriate. Even younger kids can understand expectations given ahead of time, with the promise of more another day.
In the weeks that follow, a treat allotment should be factored into the diet plan in place for your child. Another helpful use for all the candy collected and the goodie bags at this time of year, is to keep some on hand to help correct lows your child has. You know your child and how they react best to certain items assisting in their numbers and monitoring.
Consider Alternate Treats
Alternate treats could mean a variety of options. Some families opt to have non-candy prizes, like toys or tokens for children with health needs to choose from. Other families will allow their child to trade in a certain amount of candy for a purchased toy or some other incentive they may be wanting. If you look through social media pages in your area, some doctors and dentists will trade Halloween candy for money, sending the collected candy to troops stationed overseas. Another way to reduce the number of candy collected is to gather with other families for a block party or other gathering to celebrate the holiday as a group. Families can still trick or treat, but this type of celebration spends some of that time doing activities not focused on sugar!
Integrity Urgent Care hopes each and every one of our families and friends has a wonderful Halloween night and that we are all able to enjoy some fall weather. In the mean time, if you have any needs, Halloween night or otherwise, see us at one of our locations today.