Healthy Halloween Tricks and Tips

From zombies and snakes to peanut allergies and pounds of sugar, Halloween can be scary. Stay safe with tips for how to have a healthy and happy Halloween from The Doctors

But first, The Doctors get into the Halloween spirit.

Find out how they dressed up for Halloween. You can also visit our Halloween photo album on The Doctors' Facebook page.

Beware of Halloween Dangers
Don’t let your Halloween turn into a nightmare. Masks and glow rings can pose serious health threats. Also, twice as many children get hit by cars on Halloween than any other night of the year. Parents are encouraged to have their children wear reflective devices so they are visible to drivers. Wearing a reflector such as SAFEES can increase your visibility up to 500 percent.

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears shares other Halloween dangers you should avoid to help keep your children safe.

Fear Factor
The Doctors play a hair-raising trick to show how your body responds when you are frightened.

“What happens when you get that sort of stress response — that flight-or-fight response — [is] a lot of things are going wrong,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says.

When Treats Trigger a Deadly Reaction
Emmy-award winning actress Julie Bowen cracks us up as Claire Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family.
Julie has a modern family of her own as the mother of three boys.

Julie joins Dr. Travis and reveals a heart condition she lives with and her philosophy on breastfeeding.

A Drink with a Bite

An alcoholic beverage available in Southeast Asia is made by infusing a whole venomous snake into rice wine and letting it steep for months. Over time, the poison is canceled out by the alcohol in the snake wine. 

The spooky libation is believed to cure everything from hair loss and back pain to a low sex drive.

Is it worth the risk?

Halloween can be especially scary for the Bowen family because Julie's oldest son suffers from anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that can be triggered by certain foods, such as peanuts.

“My oldest son, Oliver, has an allergy to peanuts and bee stings that we found out about when he was stung by a bee while eating peanut butter,” she says. “I’m not kidding you. Double whammy.”

Julie says her husband called and told her something was wrong, but she thought he was overreacting until he sent her a picture of her son.

“It was crazy. His whole face was swollen,” Julie remembers. “We were lucky because he blew up so much and looked so bad, we knew this was a bad problem.”

Dr. Travis explains what happens to your body when you go through anaphylactic shock. Symptoms can include swelling of the face and tongue, slurred speech, red skin, high-pitched breathing, hives and itchiness.

Julie’s son was rushed to the hospital, where he was given an epinephrine injection, which reverses the effects of anaphylaxis. Dr. Travis explains how epinephrine injectors work and explains how anyone can administer them.

“When you get to the point that you sense someone is having difficulty breathing and they are swollen, that’s when this epinephrine injector can save a life,” Dr. Travis says.

Julie has teamed up with Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis to help teach others to recognize the triggers and symptoms.

Parents need to be especially careful to avoid anaphylactic triggers at Halloween because many candies are made with nuts, including some you might not realize.

Dr. Travis says the simplest test for anaphylaxis is to ask your child to say, “Ahhh.” If you notice the tongue is starting to swell, you should take the person to the hospital.

Running Scared

Need some extra motivation to exercise? You might run a little faster if you were being chased by zombies.  Dr. Sears tries a new interactive game called Zombies, Run! that combines exercise with the fear factor.

“This is actually pretty cool because there’s different scenarios, different courses that make you feel you’re in a zombie apocalypse,” Dr. Sears says. “And when there are zombies behind you, you want to book it.”

Plus, Dr. Travis teaches you a move that will “raise your abs from the dead.” 

Treats From the Pumpkin Patch
Nine-year-old college student and The Doctors’ medical correspondent, Tanishq Abraham, visits a pumpkin patch to give us the scoop on the health benefits of the great pumpkin.

Can’t get enough Tanishq? Watch his first appearance on The Doctors!

Sweet Tooth
Like most 7-year-olds, Taylor loves Halloween, especially all the candy. She wants to know what happens if she goes to bed without brushing her teeth after eating her Halloween treats. “My mom says I’ll get cavities, but will I from just one night? Come on, it’s Halloween!” she asks.

Dr. Sears demonstrates the scary amount of sugar an average trick-or-treater can collect in one night.

Orthodontist Dr. Yossi Bar-Zion joins The Doctors to explain what all that sugar can do to your teeth and why it’s especially important to brush your teeth before bed.

Dr. Bar-Zion also reveals the scariest candy for your teeth. It can be as acidic as battery acid!

Plus, will Dr. Bar-Zion’s plan for reducing the amount of candy and sugar children eat after Halloween work for your children?

“What we wanted to do was get the candy out of kids’ hands as soon as possible,” he says.

His orthodontist office hosts a buy-back event November 1 and offers children $1 for each pound of candy, up to five pounds. Plus, they get a toothbrush!

On the Butcher Block
A London butcher shop recently had some scary cuts of meat for sale.

A food artist used animal meat to sculpt human-looking limbs that customers could buy.

The sale of "body parts" was a promotion for the zombie video game, Resident Evil 6.

All the proceeds went to the Limbless Association, which provides support to amputees and people who have lost a limb.

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OAD 10/30/12