How scary is too scary for kids during Halloween?

Spooky is all around us in October, from TV shows to costumes to store decorations.

But how scary is too scary when it comes to children during Halloween?

The Cleveland Clinic has weighed in on the matter.

Each child is different, and it’s important for parents to know what their child is afraid of, said Dr. Neha Vyas, a family health physician at Cleveland Clinic, said in a video on the subject.

“You know your own child better than anybody and every child is unique,” she said. “Most of the time, by the time they reach school age, they know how to separate fiction from reality. Up until then, you should be very guarded in what they see in terms of Halloween.”

Vyas said parents should make sure they tailor content on TV to the age of the youngest child that is watching.

For very young children who are afraid of Halloween costumes, Vyas suggests allowing them to see mom or dad putting on their Halloween costume to help them understand that a mask is something fake, and that the person behind the costume is someone they know, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

It’s also important to keep in mind that everyone conquers their fears at different times in their life.

Vyas advises parents to have a plan for those who have a teen or a pre-teen who feels pressure from friends to attend haunted houses this time of year – but the child is not into it.

“Have an excuse ready so that you can pick them up early if you need to,” she said. “Have a code word, that way, if they are getting very scared, and they don’t want to go through with it, they can text you and then you can pick them up and have your excuse ready for them. Allow them an opportunity to grow at their own pace.”

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