Health Watch — Halloween: Fear

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about making Halloween a little less scary. For many, the safe kinds of fear are the fun part of the holiday. But some children may not think the fear is very fun.

Dr. Pete Stavinoha, a child psychiatrist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you shouldn’t force children into situations they find scary. That could be harmful to them. While adults may have fond memories of trick-or-treating fun, a child may not see it that way. A child may not be able to accept that things really will be okay. If a child is afraid, a parent going along or going out before dark may help ease fears, but it’s not a crisis if a child doesn’t want to go trick-or-treating. Fun, less-scary alternatives might include a movie night at home or a Halloween party.

    

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October 2007

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