Halloween can be a holiday with a lot of anxiety for children with diabetes and their parents. And this year may add even more anxiety during this once-in-a-century pandemic.

Massachusetts has released Halloween safety guidelines, but each town in Massachusetts may develop its own guidelines as well. Here at Joslin, to respect social distancing for everyone’s safety, we have canceled our annual Halloween event.

There are still ways to have fun and be safe this Halloween!
The CDC has recommended some of these Halloween activities this year:

  • Decorating the inside and outside of your house or apartment with Halloween decorations
  • Pumpkin carving with your family or pumpkin carving with friends outside in a socially-distanced manner
  • Setting up a socially-distanced outdoor scavenger hunt
  • Organizing an online, virtual Halloween costume event
  • Halloween crafts with your siblings
  • Telling ghost stories either at home or online

Tips for Trick-or-Treating

Some children and families may still go trick or treating this year because what Halloween means for most children and their parents is Trick-or-Treating. And Trick-or-Treating means candy. And candy, too much of it (the definition of which varies according to the individual), can mean high blood sugars.

Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to enjoy the "treat" of Halloween like everyone else. The "trick" is to find a way to put the emphasis on the fun while controlling the risk for problems with hyperglycemia.

  • Use the app “Calorie King” for nutritional information
  • Trade the large candy bars for small trinkets
    • Tattoos, stickers, markers, crayons
    • Barrettes, hair ribbons, jewelry
    • Action figures, matchbox cars, trucks 
  • Trade the candy for a special predetermined present (i.e. Switch Witch)
    • An outdoor family outing (miniature golf, zoo, park, hike, etc…)
    • A new toy, video, computer game, iTunes card, or DVD.
    • Money, a gift card to a favorite store or an IOU for something they like to do
    • A new outfit or sports jersey                                                                                                           
  • Giving out small toys or trinkets at your house instead of candy
    • Give non-candy treats to your neighbors like stickers, yo-yos, Halloween tattoos, light sticks, spider rings, fangs, Play Dough, etc…

We hope that whatever you choose to do this Halloween that you have fun and be safe.