October is coming to a close and the new school year feeling is fading into a sense of a routine. Children are enjoying their new classes, fall sports and activities are well under way, and the excitement of Halloween is here. Costumes, parties, and of course, tons of sugary snacks and candy are among the joyful reasons of why Halloween is such a great holiday AND it is only days away.
This year, the actual day of Halloween is on a Monday which means the weekend before will be filled with a ton of fun times dressing up, memories made, and not to forget, a gigantic amount of candy. Sometimes is can seem ok to let kids go wild and eat as much candy as their stomachs can handle but there can be some serious side effects caused from TOO MUCH SUGAR! The most common results from over indulging in sugar packed Halloween candy are tooth decay, weight gain, upset stomachs, and higher long term risk for diabetes and heart disease. Although these results seem a bit drastic, the reality of the situation is that kids today consume way too much sugar which is huge contributor of the ongoing battle of childhood obesity.
The Community Health Center, Inc. offers many programs that strive to build healthier Communities; two of those programs, Mobile Dental and Recess Rocks, are great examples of how important it is to educate children on topics of healthy living not only at home but in school as well! The Mobile Dental program is a state-wide program in Connecticut that visits over one hundred and fifty schools while promoting dental education and prevention. They also provide diagnosing and restoration to students right during their regular school day. When Mobile Dental is present in the schools, it is an easy, convenient, and fast way for kids to get the proper dental care they need!
A fun and dynamic way that CHC is trying to zone in on childhood obesity is with the Recess Rocks program! Recess Rocks is a program that started in Connecticut during 2004 and launched nationally with Community Health Center, Inc. in 2010. Research has shown that during the average school day, recess is the most important resource for kids to get their daily dose of exercise and physical movement. The Recess Rocks program delivers twenty to thirty minutes of exciting dance movement into a student’s day; it contributes to their motivation of being healthy and staying fit. Recess Rocks offer movement instructors who use dance-inspired, choreographed programs during recess or in the classroom that help young students build fittness into their school day! The Community Health Center, Inc. is a great organization that offers many healthy options for kids, but it also wants to share some Halloween Safety tips for Parents.
Information for Parents:
- Look for local sponsored Halloween events at places such as a community center, school, or church
- Figure out your town’s designated Trick-or-Treating night (Some communities will declare either a Saturday or Sunday night before Halloween, or both!)
- Do not let children under 13 go out without adult supervision
- Establish a safe route for older kids to take if they go out without a parent
- Enforce the buddy system
- Try and convince children to WAIT until after they get home to eat any candy so you can inspect it for any questionable pieces
For more information about Mobile Dental, Recess Rocks, and Halloween safety, please check out the new Patient Resource located on the CHC website: http://chc1.com/Transformational/PatientResource.html