Trick or treat PDX

Enjoying a healthy and safe Halloween in the Rose City

Whether you’re heading out with the kids to supervise a fun trick-or-treat evening, staying in to host a party or doling out countless sugary treats, Halloween in Portland is always an exciting experience. In fact, because kids can get from house to house on foot with few safety risks, our city is considered one of the top 20 cities for trick-or-treating in the nation by Zillow. However, with children on the streets after dark and piles of sugary snacks up for grabs, the holiday does present some cause for concern. The good news is that, with a bit of careful planning, everyone in Portland can enjoy a safe, healthy Halloween.

The doctors and nurses at The Portland Clinic have pulled together some of their favorite tips to enjoy the holiday:

Shine like a jack-o’-lantern

Staying visible is one of the most important safety tactics for Halloween revelers. Costumed or not, consider these illumination ideas for walking in the dark:

  • Reflective material – Many costumes contain reflective pieces. If not, purchase reflective tape to adhere to each person in your trick-or-treat group.
  • Glow sticks – Give them a snap to activate, attach to your costumes or bags, or hold them in your hand. Make sure to have backups if they start to dim.
  • Headlamps and flashlights – Brighten your path between houses. Not only are scary decorations afoot, which can cause a trip or fall, but wet leaves, curbs, potholes and other obstacles may also prove tricky to see without illumination.
  • Stay on walkways – Make use of sidewalks and crosswalks between houses, rather than darting across the streets for your candy-seeking adventures.

Costume safety

Are you going as a presidential candidate, popular superhero or a classic white-sheet ghost? Whatever scary or funny costume you’ve created, sight and movement are vital to a safe trick-or-treat journey.

  • Masks – Be sure that your child’s mask does not obstruct their vision. Eyeholes should be large enough to enable them to see peripherally as well. If a mask is too large, vision may be impaired with regular movement. Additionally, a mask that is too small may affect breathing.
  • Face paint – Consider face paint if you have trouble finding a mask that fits properly. Prior to Halloween, test the paint on a small patch of skin to make sure it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction.
  • Colored contact lenses – Remember, all corrective contact lenses require a prescription from a licensed eye care professional. Using nonprescription lenses for a costume accessory poses a risk of injury and vision impairment.
  • Size – Costumes should fit well to avoid discomfort, tripping or restricted movement.
  • Costume material – Between spooky decorations and jack-o’-lanterns, open flames are common on Halloween. Often, these flames can be low to the ground or at ground level. If buying a costume, check to see if it was manufactured with flame-retardant material.

Hosting a party?

If you’re staying in to give out candy or are hosting a party, keep your home well lit both inside and out. Candles should be kept away from high-traffic areas, jack-o’-lanterns away from the walkway to your house and use flameless tea lights instead of candles to illuminate in-home pumpkin art. The expectation is that young children will be devouring loads of candy but, if you’re hosting a party, make sure to offer your guests alternative healthy snacks. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so pace your sweet calorie intake. Dentists around Portland are even offering cold hard cash for your child’s Halloween candy bounty in the nation-wide candy buyback program, which send treats to deployed US soldiers. As always, nutritionists are available at The Portland Clinic for all of your healthy snack questions.

We wish all of our neighbors in the Rose City a safe and healthy Halloween. Before putting on your costumes and prepping the spider web decorations, we encourage you to take a few moments to ensure you and your children are well equipped to fill their bags with candy and get home safely to sort, trade and enjoy all those treats! If you have any questions regarding the health and safety of your family, please don’t hesitate to contact The Portland Clinic at 503-223-3113.