October is here, which means it’s time for the leaves to change colors, the air to take on a crisp chill, and spooky decorations to adorn the neighborhood. Halloween is right around the corner, to the delight of every candy-loving kid in town. Who doesn’t have fond memories of collecting a pillowcase-sized haul of sugary loot and dragging it back to their house, to be gorged upon in the ensuing weeks (or – let’s be honest – days)?

However, if your child is part of the 10.5% of the population who suffers from diabetes, Halloween can mean an entirely different set of horrors. While loading up on refined sugar isn’t necessarily the healthiest dietary practice even for non-diabetic children, it can cause downright dangerous episodes of hyperglycemia in diabetics. If not addressed, severe episodes of acute hyperglycemia can cause both short-term and long-term detrimental impacts on your kids’ health.

Fortunately, you and your kids need not despair; it is still entirely possible to have a fun, memorable Halloween with diabetes, and even to enjoy small amounts of candy – but doing so requires a little bit more effort and attention on your part to navigate the potential pitfalls of trick-or-treating. In this article, we outline some strategies and tactics you may wish to employ this year to keep your family healthy and happy this spooky season.

Plan ahead

The most important part of ensuring a safe Halloween for your kid is to create a solid battle plan well in advance. Decide how many streets or houses you intend to visit ahead of time to control the level of candy intake that you will have to deal with once you return to your house. Decide how you will control when and how much candy if any, your kid should be eating in the following days or weeks according to their specific dietary needs and restrictions. And, if your kid will be attending parties or get-togethers at school or with friends, decide how you will navigate the challenges of bringing snacks.

Set up clear lines of communication

Kids love Halloween, which means they will inevitably become giddy and excited when the big day finally rolls around. To avoid raining on their parade, and to make sure that you’re both clear on your expectations around candy consumption, it is best to establish clear lines of communication around the topic well in advance. Communicate the importance of following your rules and emphasize that doing so is for their own health and safety.

Equally important is to communicate with members of the community who interact with and supervise your children regularly. This can include your children’s teachers, coaches, babysitters, and anyone else in a similar position. Make sure that these individuals are aware of your child’s condition, that they understand the limitations you’ve enacted around candy consumption, and that they are willing to enforce the rules when you aren’t there to do so yourself.  It is also wise to generally inform them about the nature of diabetes and how to recognize when your child might need their assistance, even outside of the Halloween context.

Exchange your kids’ candy for something else that they will still enjoy

It’s no secret that kids and candy go together like bears and honey. Almost all kids will inevitably look forward to Halloween a