This October 31 an enclave of ghosts, ghouls, and witches will hit the streets looking for treats. Alongside this spooky entourage comes a considerable threat. Emergency rooms are considerably more crowded on holidays, particularly Halloween. Keep your kids safe and be mindful of the 6 Halloween dangers:
1. Car Injury
Car fatalities have a much higher rate on Halloween than any day of the year, with an increase in pedestrians during nighttime when visibility is lowest. That’s a national average of 5.5 deaths each Halloween, compared with an average of 2.6 for the rest of the year. The number is on the rise for teens who are distracted by their mobile phones while driving.
To avoid being struck by a car, act as a defensive pedestrian. Stay out of the roads, keep to the near side of the sidewalk, and carry a flashlight so you can see where you’re going and drivers can see you approaching.
With so many luminaries and jack-o-lanterns on stairs and stoops, Halloween creates a hazardous environment for clumsy kids who may trip on one of those fire-filled gourds. To avoid an accident purchase costumes, wigs, and props that are clearly marked “flame resistant” or “flame retardant,” and make sure costumes aren’t dragging on the floor or hanging over arms. For parties, take precaution to keep candles away from paper decorations like streamers.
3. Food Reactions
Parents should examine all treats for choking hazards, allergies, and tampering before children start digging into their stockpile of treats gathered from the neighborhood. Carefully inspect any fruits or homemade foods for safety. Avoid stomachaches by limiting the amount of candy kids eat in one sitting.
4. Skin Sensitivity
If a costume includes face-paint or hair-dye do a test run on a portion of the skin before Halloween to make sure there’s no allergic reaction. Wash off any paint by the end of the night to avoid dryness, redness and peeling of the face paint.
5. Cuts and Scrapes
Costumes that include accessories such as swords, knives, or batons should be short, soft, and flexible. Play fights can lead to trips and falls. Don’t let your fake weapon cause a real injury.
6. Glow stick “poisoning”
Calls to poison control centers reporting glow stick ingestion increases during Halloween. While drinking the liquid can cause irritation and vomiting, glow sticks are minimally toxic and do not require a trip to the emergency room. If you, your friend, or family member ingests a glowstick or other inedible decoration, immediately contact poison control.
Enjoy the tricks and treats but practice vigilance on Halloween to avoid a nightmare before Christmas.
ERKaty is open 24/7 and their Board-Certified Emergency Medical doctors are ready to help at any hour. Call them at (281) 395-9900.