Halloween still a treat for kids with diabetes

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Trick-or-treaters will suit up in their best ghoul, ghost and goblin get-ups Thursday night in search of sweet treats.

However, this candy filled night can pose challenging questions for parents of children with diabetes.

Diabetes educator Natalie Moratti with St. Bernards said trick-or-treaters with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can still enjoy the Halloween candy like all the other kids. They just have to keep it in moderation.

"It's gonna be important for the parents to really supervise everything, watching how much they're consuming once they get home, help go through everything and sort out what's better for them," Moratti said.

The best thing for diabetics is to watch the carbohydrates in candy. Moratti said eat something chocolaty over something fruity.

"Skittles and Sour Patch Kids have a lot of concentrated sugars in there so it's gonna have more of a rapid increase in their blood sugar than the Snickers or the Peanut M&M's," Moratti said.

A spike in a child's blood sugar could put a damper on their Halloween festivities.

"Extreme thirst, having to go to the bathroom more often, might have a little dizziness or blurred vision, more fatigued. Candy's gonna make the child a little more energetic, where as if their blood sugar's high, they're gonna be more fatigued than normal," Moratti said.

Moratti said to avoid this, monitor the child's blood sugar throughout the evening and dose insulin as needed to balance the carbohydrates they consume.

Moratti also had a recommendation for people giving out the candy.

"Quite a few children do have Type 1 or Type 2 so you wanna be mindful of that. If the person passing out candy has choices available, that would be a great idea to say, 'Is it better for you to have this than what else I have to offer you?,'" Moratti said.

Because in the end, Moratti said they just want to enjoy Halloween like every other kid would.

"We don't want them to feel like the joy's taken out of it just because they have this special disease process," Moratti said.

For a complete list of Halloween candies and how many carbohydrates are in them, visit the American Diabetes Association's website.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.