Tips to keep your children healthy this Halloween - WSMV Channel 4

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Tips to keep your children healthy this Halloween

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For many children, Halloween means collecting all kinds of sweet treats, but there are some important tips doctors say parents should keep in mind before letting the little ghosts and goblins dive right in.

Making sure your kids don't over indulge on the candy starts long before they head out the door on Halloween.

First up, give them a good, healthy meal so they're not trick or treating on an empty stomach.

And when they're out getting the goodies, keep in mind not all candy is the same.

"Caramel, candy corn, they can be quite bad and can stick around your teeth longer than typical other candies," said Dr. Richard Shin, with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Division of Orthodontics.

That's especially the case for kids with braces on their teeth. Hard, gummy and chewy candies can lead to broken brackets, which may require a trip back to the orthodontist.

Shin said it all comes down to moderation.

"Sort through the candy collection that they have, find the ones, maybe count how many they can have per day. And limit them to the meal times, or right after meal time, so right after the candy, you can go and brush your teeth," he said.

And that last part is key.

Parents, if you end up eating some of your child's candy, you need to follow the rule, too, and go brush your teeth after the sugar binge.

Another issue worth noting is childhood obesity. This may be a good time to talk with your kids about moderation and mention how sweets are OK from time to time if they balance that out with a healthy diet and exercise.

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