Healthy, Happy Halloween!

Halloween family

Tips for a Frighteningly Fun and Scarily Safe October 31

October is here and with it comes the excitement of costumes and candy. Halloween is a fun-filled time for kids and parents alike but can also present some dangers to your superhero, princess or ghost.

Your neighborhood Stanford Medicine Children’s Health pediatricians at Bayside Pediatrics and Livermore Pleasanton San Ramon Pediatrics have some great tips to help your family scare up the fun while keeping danger at bay.

Both Bayside and LPSR opened their first practices in the East Bay nearly 40 years ago. Today, they maintain their strong roots in the community while offering access to the same clinical excellence and innovation that starts at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital on the Stanford campus. Over the years, they’ve seen their fair share of the downside of Halloween when safety precautions are overlooked. Here are a few helpful safety reminders to keep in mind before you hit the trick or treat trail.


  • An adult should always accompany young children.
  • Older children should go in groups, have a planned route and an agreed-upon time to return home, as well as carry a cell phone.
  • Never allow kids to enter a home while trick-or-treating. They should always remain outside.
  • If your child has food allergies, adults should go up to the door and help pick the candy. Even sealed candy can leave traces of nuts that can cause an allergic reaction.
  • Trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight or have some source of light with them. Glow sticks are also an option, and fastening reflective tape on costumes is a good idea.
  • Children should always walk from house to house and not run.
  • When walking on roads, children should always walk in the direction that faces traffic.
  • Only allow children to visit houses that are lit and have a porch light on.


  • Be careful of loose strings or straps that can become tripping hazards.
  • Costumes should be flame resistant.
  • Ensure costumes, shoes and masks fit well in order to avoid trips and falls.
  • Face paint and makeup are good alternatives to masks, but test them first to ensure they don’t cause an allergic reaction.
  • Carrying baskets or plastic pumpkins is a safer alternative to plastic bags.


  • Don’t allow children to accept any homemade goodies.
  • Inspect treats once you are home and throw away any candy with torn or open packages.
  • Monitor your child’s candy intake days following Halloween. Moderation is best.

Kids in Halloween costumesPediatricians say that parents often ask what to do with all that extra candy. At Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, we offer this information to donate to Operation Gratitude or check with your dentist for local donation options.

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health is the only network in the area exclusively dedicated to pediatric and obstetric care – and is now in over 60 locations across the Bay Area. In the east bay, pediatric practices include in six east bay locations and Livermore Pleasanton San Ramon Pediatrics (LPSR) in three locations.


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