A nurse’s humorous suggestions for kids’ Halloween treats


Shutterstock | Edward FieldingShutterstock | Edward Fielding

It’s that time of year again, when pint-sized ghouls and goblins (and a fair smattering of whatever Disney character is hot this year) will be showing up at your door, hoping for chocolate. Or at least hoping not to get those weird generic Sweet-Tarts that don’t taste like anything.

You’re a nurse, so it’s natural that you’d be more health-conscious than the average person. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from handing out fun treats for the kids on Halloween. Here are my (not-so-serious) suggestions:

  1. Dermabond. Not only can you slide a lot of those little sponge-topped vials into a scrub pocket, but parents will be thankful. The next time Bradleigh cuts himself on his Xbox, Mom and Dad can save a trip to the ER!
  2. Gauze. Save whatever’s left over from this year’s mummy costume and hand it out, neatly rolled, to the tykes at the door. Four-by-fours are another good choice; we all know how handy those are.
  3. Tiny tubes of moisture-resistant antifungal cream are always a big hit. If you have some left over after Halloween, relabel them “Toothpaste” and hand them out on April 1.
  4. Nonslip socks are a multipurpose sugar-free treat for kids and parents of all ages. Remember, fall risks rise steadily after age 40. Be sure to remind the parents of this fact with a big Halloween smile.
  5. Package up the Halloween candy from work that even nurses won’t eat and take it to hand out at home. As a bonus, you won’t have any trick-or-treaters next year!

Here are some things you probably shouldn’t hand out, no matter how great the temptation:

  1. Individually packaged scalpel blades, unless you want a certain…reputation.
  2. Cans of whatever supplemental shake you provide to your patients.
  3. Packages of thickener or fiber. That’s just asking for trouble.
  4. Durable medical equipment. As tempting as it might be to give the kids fun toys with flashing lights and alarms, hospitals generally don’t take kindly to having their continuous-dialysis machines handed out.
  5. Toothbrushes and toothpaste. Come on, nobody does that anymore unless they want their yard permanently toilet-papered from now until 2020. Have a heart.

Have a happy Halloween!

Agatha Lellis
Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at

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