5 Remedies for Halloween Tummy Troubles
Recent statistics show that Americans will spend more than $9 billion on Halloween candy this year. That equates to bags upon bags of sweet, sugary goodies waiting to land in your little monster’s trick or treat bag.
The Uncomfortable Aftermath of a Sugar High
When your little ones get home on Halloween night, they will probably sit down, sort through their candy bags and chow down. While they may have fun with all their favorites to start, this high may be short-lived.
Let’s look at what is happening inside of your child’s body on Halloween night: Eating all of that sugar gives a rush of energy at first. The pancreas is churning out insulin and that insulin rapidly takes sugar into the cells. But once all of the sugar is used up, the insulin levels don’t come down right away. Insulin levels remain high and that leads to a state of low blood glucose (sugar) called hypoglycemia.
There’s no need to panic in this situation. For healthy, non-diabetic children, hypoglycemia is a temporary occurrence that resolves itself, but there are side effects. Your child may look pale and feel sick to the stomach.
Once all of the candy makes its way down the digestive tract, your child may have heartburn, gas, diarrhea, or continued nausea. Just like hypoglycemia, this GI distress is temporary.
Home Remedies for a Sugar Hangover
If your child is feeling the effects of a sugar hangover, try some of these home remedies to help get them back to normal.
- Make some tea: Teas with ginger, peppermint, chamomile, or licorice are helpful in soothing and relaxing the body.
- Drink water: Simple H20 can flush out the sugar and reset the digestive tract.
- Eat a small, healthy snack: Apples and bananas will help move the candy through the intestines. A piece of plain toast may also help.
- Go to bed: Going to bed early is probably the worst way for a child to spend Halloween, but this could be the best solution for a tummy ache. Encourage your child to rest lying on their stomach. This is helpful for releasing trapped gas. Hopefully, they will sleep right through any discomfort.
- Take over-the-counter medicine: If these natural remedies aren’t working, you may want to try over-the-counter medications to soothe the digestive tract. Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Zantac, and Imodium are a few options. Be sure to check with your doctor before giving your child any medications.
To be sure, we aren’t suggesting parents turn into candy police on Halloween. The holiday only comes around once each year and we know it’s tempting to let children have a candy free-for-all. However, there is a middle ground. Try limiting your child to three small pieces of candy per day, decorate a “Halloween House” (similar to a gingerbread house at Christmas), or encourage your child to donate candy to soldiers overseas. Kids can have fun with candy and keep their tummies happy at the same time!
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