When should I take the family Trick or Treating? When is the best bedtime for Halloween night?
Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays as a child. I can remember the excitement of picking out my costume and getting together with my neighborhood friends so we could loop around a few blocks to fill up the bright orange plastic jack-o-lanterns we all had.
You may have memories of night time trick or treating, but an earlier night is better. Experts still recommend more sleep for younger children than older children:If your child is 3-5 years old they should be getting 10-13 hours of sleep; however, 8-9 hours of sleep is still normal for this age. Children 6-13 years of age should sleep 9-11 hours at night but 7-8 hours of sleep is still considered adequate. Sleep is important for growing bodies so establishing a bed time for children and sticking to it is important---even on a holiday.
You should check local laws on trick or treating in your area but trick or treating early before sunset can allow your children more time in bed after the exciting trip through the neighborhood. If you will trick or treat after dark be sure to remain visible. Brighter high visibility materials or reflectors do not require batteries or replacing next year but blinking lights and glow sticks are also available to help drivers see pedestrians after dark.
TIP: Tape glow sticks or battery-operated LED lights to the inside of an orange jack-o-lantern to make it glow brightly for better visibility near traffic.
TIP: Have children sort candy into daily allotments right away so they don’t get too much candy in one day. Sorting the candy can be even more fun than eating heroic doses of candy in one night. Plus children get to enjoy Halloween for much longer if they put a little candy away for later.
Unfortunately for you and fortunately for the lucky trick or treaters, there will be a major haul of candy to sort through and consume when everyone gets back home. Just be careful to consider the effects sugar has on the bodies of both adults and children. The average 4-8 year old child consumes 21 teaspoons of sugar on an average day. The recommended safe amount of sugar for children to consume in a day is closer 4-6 teaspoons. Even on the average day children are getting very high levels of sugar but there is some good news for parents.
Sugar does not cause alertness so sleeping after a candy binge should not be difficult. If you can get your children back from trick or treating with enough time to get 10 hours of sleep you can avoid a sleep deficit and allow your children all the time they need to rest and recover after adventuring through the neighborhood collecting candy.