SATURDAY, Oct. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — By the time they’re in elementary school, kids usually know their favorite parts about celebrating Halloween.

But the holiday is still new to babies and toddlers, and some toddlers may find it too much.

That’s normal, said pediatrician Dr. Dina DiMaggio of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She gave some tips on how to get started with babies and toddlers who may be ready for some Halloween fun.

“As a parent, you know your child best,” DiMaggio said in an academy press release. “The best way to deal with fear and prepare your child is to talk about what is going to happen. Read books about a treat — and Halloween in general — is a great way to help that discussion. Consider having your child practice in their costume before the big day.”

Tell your child that Halloween is just fun and all the scary things about it are just pretend, DiMaggio added.

One fun seasonal activity for a baby or toddler would be to squish hands inside a pumpkin, the AAP suggested. Or you can decorate a pumpkin together using one of the many no-cut options.

Try to eat when it’s still light outside so you can sleep well.

Choose a costume that will not be long and bulky, in which it will be easier for your child to walk. Have a spare suit in case a a potty training accident or a leaky diaper. It can be helpful to have a costume that is easy for your child to put on and take off to make it easier to go to the bathroom.

Check the weather forecast and include several layers of clothing if necessary.

Help your toddler go up and down steps and around curbs, the AAP suggested.

It’s possible that a scary house or suit, a fall, or even a rough day can contribute to a tantrum. If your child loses interest in trick-or-treating, consider stopping. Your child can help hand out candy to the older kids at home, the AAP advised.

The academy suggested looking for non-food treats whenever possible, such as crayons, colored pencils, notebooks, stickers, stamps, chalk, bubbles, temporary tattoos, Play-Doh or small stuffed animals. Limit sugar. Also watch what your child eats from his treat bag at home or at snack time.

Babies and toddlers should not eat hard candy, caramel apples, popcorn, gum, small candy (jelly, etc.), gummy candy, pumpkin seeds, or anything with whole nuts.

Candy wrappers, stickers, small toys or temporary tattoos can also be a choking hazard, according to the AAP. Check all candies your child gets to make sure nothing bad happens.

Don’t let your toddler walk around the neighborhood alone, advises the AAP. Plan and review the route if older children are traveling alone and agree on a specific return time. Get each child flashlights with fresh batteries.

You may want to forgo treats altogether if your town doesn’t start until after dark and if the festivities are offered earlier in the day.

Additional information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more potential suffocation hazard for small children.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, Press Release, October 25, 2022