KC Parent – October 2012 issue
The crisp smell of autumn permeates the air, telling you to head to one of the local pumpkin patches because it’s time again to pick that perfect orange orb for carving your family’s masterpiece! The one thing that can ruin your October day is if someone gets hurt, and a child’s playing with knives is a surefire way to program your GPS for an urgent care trip.
“Keep kids involved and safe with pumpkin carving by letting the child design the face,” Dr. Lara Sullivan, a pediatrician at After-Hours Pediatrics urgent care center in Leawood, says. “We always let each child draw with a Sharpie marker and let the parents do the carving.”
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) suggests, “Any moisture on your tools, hands or table can cause slipping that can lead to injuries.” Many stores carry special pumpkin carving kits that “include small serrated pumpkin saws that work better because they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin tissue,” says ASSH.
That’s a Fact, Jack-o’-Lantern! (Source: USDA)
Orange veggies are full of beta-carotene, a plant carotenoid that converts to vitamin A in your body. A diet containing this is said to reduce certain types of cancers and improve heart health. Gotta like that!
Pumpkin (1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg
5 Trick-or-Treat Tips
- Have a responsible adult accompany trick-or-treaters. If there’s a group of children going, several chaperones are needed for crowd control and crossing the streets safely.
- Older trick-or-treaters need a safe plan, too (if they must go). Instruct them to remain together. Review a safe route so parents know their teens’ whereabouts. They also need cell phones to be accessible.
- Children should wear reflective tape/clothing or carry flashlights or glow sticks for night visibility.
- Face paint is better than a face mask. This way the child can effectively see an approaching car, a change in landscape or stairs and curbs.
- NO cutting through wooded areas, back alleys or fields! Children must remain in highly populated, well-lit areas. Remember: safety in numbers, but kids still shouldn’t go into a stranger’s home or their car. Tell children it’s acceptable to be impolite and leave, if they feel uncomfortable.
Stacey Hatton is a pediatric RN and humor columnist. She can be contacted at www.NurseMommyLaughs.com.
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© 2012, Stacey Hatton. All rights reserved.