Halloween is upon and us and that means children will be roaming the streets in search of treats, and maybe a few tricks, but by following a few simple safety tips, parents can make sure the holiday is full of fun.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a list of tips for parents to make sure their child is safe while still having fun. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, costumes should be bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame; parents should consider attaching reflective tape to costumes or Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility; and consider using non-toxic makeup in place of a mask, which can limit or block eyesight.
Other safety tips include:
Keeping homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs. Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps. Restrain pets to protect visitors and keep animals safe.
A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. Carry a cell phone and have a flashlight for children and escorts.
If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available walk to the far edge of the roadway facing traffic. Never cut across yards or use alleys.
Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will.
By following these tips, everyone will have a safe and happy Halloween.
National Diabetes Month
Perhaps it is appropriate the day after Halloween kicks off Diabetes Awareness Month.
More than 100,000 adults in Maine have some form of diabetes, according to 2011 estimates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one of every three U.S. adults has pre-diabetes. Someone with pre-diabetes is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk for possible complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and other health problems.
The CDC offers ways people can prevent diabetes, which include losing weight, staying physically active and eating healthier.
The American Diabetes Association estimates the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
Direct medical costs reach $176 billion and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is 2.3 times higher than those without the disease.
Indirect costs amount to $69 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality).
One in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.
One in five health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes.
The goal of National Diabetes Month is to raise awareness about the disease, its consequences and management and prevention of Type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Much more information about diabetes symptoms, treatment and prevention is available online at diabetes.org.