Health Watch — Halloween: More Spooky than Fun?
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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting ready for Halloween, costume parties and other fall festivals. For many of us, Halloween offers a safe scare — an opportunity to pretend to be someone else or get a jolt out of a haunted house. But some children may not enjoy that.
Dr. Pete Stavinoha, a pediatric neuropsychiatrist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you shouldn’t push an unwilling or frightened child into Halloween activities. It can be bad for a child to be put into a frightening situation. Children may not yet have developed the ability to tell when a scary-seeming situation is really safe, and that may set off a panic. If a child is afraid to go trick-or-treating, go before dark and stay with the child. Or you could plan an alternative activity, such as staying home and watching a movie or playing games. If a child really doesn’t want to go trick-or-treating, to a haunted house or to a costume party, it isn’t worth forcing the issue.
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