Halloween might be all about the spooky and the scary, but parents should be able to have some fun without fearing for the well-being of their children. From carving pumpkins with your preschooler to letting your teenager trick-or-treat with friends, Dr. Jim Sears from The Doctors has some great advice to help you keep your family safe and healthy this Halloween.

Carving Pumpkins

For fear of my child cutting herself, I have opted out of carving jack-o-lanterns. Turns out that I didn't have to worry. Dr. Sears recommends a pumpkin carving kit and warns that no one, not even an adult, should be carving pumpkins with a knife. The kit, he explains, contains a tool for carving that does not have a point and is unable to cut your hand. He even lets his four-year-old carve away.


Unless you go trick-or-treating at three in the afternoon, it is going to be dark outside. Everyone should be visible to both cars and other trick-or-treaters. A great way to do this is to wear glow necklaces. Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Sears says that these necklaces are perfectly safe for children, even the young ones who may try to bite them.

"In fact," explains Dr. Sears, "I personally love glow necklaces and sticks. I give them out as an alternative to candy. They"re fun, they help with visibility and they are non-toxic."


Dr. Sears knows that at a certain age our children are going to prefer trick-or-treating without parents following them around. The right age for a child to trick-or-treat without supervision depends on the particular child, but older than age eight is ideal. For children in the tween and early teen years, Dr. Sears advises that parents watch from a distance. He suggests walking along the same street while keeping your children in sight.

For older teens, the good doctor recommends using an app for smart phones such as the Trick or Tracker. It's a free app you download to both your phone and your child's phone. It will track your child's location, allowing you to monitor her while she enjoys the freedom of trick-or-treating with friends.

Healthy Choices

As we all know a little too well, Halloween is a gluttonous holiday. It all comes down to the candy. Dr. Sears suggests that this year, instead of participating in the unhealthiness of the day, you hand out fun items like stickers and glow sticks. A quick trip to the party store can provide a great deal of inspiration that can make Halloween fun and healthier for the children in your neighborhood. When I was growing up, one of my neighbors gave out dried fruit. I loved it, and to this day, it is the only house I have specific Halloween memories of because it was different, fun and delicious.