Healthy Holidays

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    A Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of
    How Can I Avoid Injuries on July 4th?
    Don’t let holiday festivities turn into a nightmare trip to the emergency room. In this video, emergency medicine physician, David Feldman, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital, offers tips for celebrating Independence Day safely. 
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Here are some tips to help you stay healthy on Halloween:

    1. It's a Holiday.
    • Trick: Despite what the stores say, Halloween is just 1 day -- and Halloween shouldn't start candy/treat week, or season.
    • Treat: If you make it one day you can treat yourself -- enjoy your favorite candy and/or baked goods.
    2. "Better For You" Sugar
    • Trick: "Sugar-free" but made with artificial sweeteners; often time they don't even taste as good. Or what about when it says "No Sugar Added" (there's already enough sugar in there, they didn't need to add more) or "Naturally Fat-Free" (hint hint, there never was any fat in Twizzlers -- where this label comes from -- but there's also no Twizzler tree in Nature -- nothing natural about it -- and it has enough sugar to make a lot of fat in the body if we eat it beyond our 1 day holiday).
    • Treat: Naturally sweet (organic fruit), organic fruit-juice sweetened, organic sugar.
    3. What's the Main Activity?
    • Trick: Eating candy? Driving around to houses?
    • Treat: Walk, bike, roller blade, games for trick-or-treating and parties.
    4. What's Sweeter than Candy?
    • Trick: Using candy as a reward for doing chores, good behavior, and good grades -- now there's a huge negative health trade-off!
    • Treat: A game or toy they want (they can give you candy for it on Halloween night), you can also get them a new toothbrush (radius.com) and use this as a time to discuss how important teeth brushing is on holidays as well as regular days.
    5. All the Colors of the Rainbow Provide Health?
    • Trick: Candies made from artificial dyes? This is not what I mean when I say that nature gave us all our health needs with all the different colors. Our bodies don't know what to do with Blue #7 but they know what a blueberry provides.
    • Treat: Dyes made from vegetables and fruit.
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    A , Healthcare, answered

    Halloween can be a difficult time for a diabetic. Eating a lot of candy and other sweets is out, so there’s a tendency for concerned parents to want to keep their children from trick-or-treating. The result is that they feel labeled as a kid with a disease.

    When I was a kid, my mom was concerned that I would feel ostracized during Halloween. She knew I couldn’t be wolfing down candy, but she didn’t want me to sit home while all my friends were out trick-or-treating. So she came up with a wonderful way for me to enjoy Halloween. You can do the same thing I did:

    Every Halloween, we’d dress up in our Power Ranger or Batman costumes and go out trick-or-treating in our Tallahassee neighborhood. At the end of the day, my buddies would give me whatever candy they didn’t want. I would take this massive pile of candy -- what I had collected and what my friends had given me -- and I would sell it back to my mom. She paid twenty- five cents for chocolate and ten cents for anything else. That was her idea and it worked.

    Halloween became one of my favorite days of the year: we’d spend a lot of time, and my mom knew she didn’t have to worry about my feeling left out or stigmatized. And I made a profit! So, for this Halloween, make a sweet deal with your child!

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    To make trick-or-treating safe for your child, follow these Halloween safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
    • Use non-toxic makeup instead of masks.
    • Choose bright, reflective costumes.
    • Add reflective tape to treat bags.
    • Give kids glow sticks or flashlights for better visibility.
    • Always use the sidewalk and crosswalks.
    • Never cross the street between parked cars or in the middle of the block.
    • Never walk alone. An adult should always accompany kids under 12. Older kids should stay in groups and stick to a well-lit, pre-planned route.
    This content originally appeared online at Baptist Health South Florida. https://baptisthealth.net/baptist-health-news/tips-safe-healthy-halloween/?cat=education
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Thinking of it as a balancing act! Work in plenty of physical activity and balance out all of the sweets with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains! Then after the 'big day' make a candy plan, like one or two pieces per day and stick to it! Also moving the candy out of sight works really well... we put ours in a ceramic bowl on the top shelf of the cupboard, before you know the kids stop asking for it!! Out of sight... out of mind!
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    A answered
    The pediatricians at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA offer parents the following simple safety tips for choosing Halloween costumes:

    Consider choosing a light-colored costume or add glow-in-the-dark tape to the front and back of the outfit so your kids can be easily seen by others and by cars. Don’t buy a costume unless it’s labeled “flame-retardant.” Make sure wigs and beards don’t cover your child’s eyes, nose or mouth, since this may make it difficult to see and breathe. Avoid oversized and high-heeled shoes that could cause children to trip, and avoid long or baggy skirts, pants or shirtsleeves that could catch onto something and result in a fall.
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    As people shop for their perfect Halloween costume and are tempted to complete their look with costume contact lenses bought without a prescription, ophthalmologists – medical doctors specializing in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions – are warning consumers that doing so can lead to permanent vision loss. 
    Although the practice has been illegal since 2005, today non-prescription cosmetic contact lenses are still sold in shops and via online retailers to customers who are unaware that wearing these devices can result in serious eye injuries. The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that the lenses, which may not be manufactured to meet federal health and safety standards, can cause injuries such as cuts and open sores in the protective layer of the iris and pupil (corneal abrasions and ulcers) and potentially blinding painful bacterial infections (keratitis). These injuries can require serious eye surgeries such as corneal transplants, and in some cases lead to permanent vision loss. One study found that wearing cosmetic contact lenses increased the risk of keratitis by more than 16 times.
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    Make Halloween a fun occasion with games, goofy decorations, and light-hearted movies.  You might gather the neighborhood children together for a Halloween Olympics at a park.  Have the kids dress up in funny costumes that allow free mobility and visibility and compete in tug of war, relay races and more.  You may even decide to have a Halloween Candy Hunt, similar to the Easter variety.  Avoid spooky decorations and loud, creepy music. 
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    It is not safe to wear contact lenses purchased from a Halloween store. There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” contact lens, and it is in fact illegal for any contact lenses to be sold without a prescription. All contact lenses, even the ones that you might be wearing just to complement a spooky Halloween costume or change the color of your eyes, are medical devices that have to be fitted by an eye care professional.

    We all have eyes of different shapes and sizes, which is why -- even if you have perfect vision -- you need to get an eye exam from an eye care professional, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, and get a prescription (which includes determining the right size and fit contacts for your eyes).

    Consumers should only buy the decorative lenses from an eye care professional or a seller that asks for a prescription. Wearing contacts that are not properly fitted can result in scratches to your eye, serious infections and vision loss.

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    A answered

    Make sure trick-or-treaters will be safe when visiting your home. Remove lawn decorations, sprinklers, toys, bicycles, wet leaves or anything that might obstruct your walkway. Provide a well-lit outside entrance to your home. Keep family pets away from trick-or-treaters, even if they seem harmless to you.