How to Keep Your Kid Safe and Out of the ER on Halloween
If you can’t stand the idea of your children eating all that candy they collected on Halloween, maybe you can find consolation that at least they had to take a walk to get it.
OK, maybe not. But too much sugar might not be your biggest concern on this popular kid holiday.
"Nothing is scarier than a trip to the emergency room," Dr. Mark Cichon, chairman of Department of Emergency Medicine at Chicago’s Loyola University Health System, told ScienceDaily.com. "In a season devoted to frights, it is our goal to keep everyone safe."
Here, as published on ScienceDaily, are Cichon's tips to help keep your child from becoming one of the 9.2 million U.S. youngsters injured seriously enough every year to require ER treatment.
- Don’t use common kitchen knives to carve a pumpkin—they’re difficult for an adult, much less a child, to manipulate on a hard rind. Invest in a pumpkin-carving kit.
- Supervise anything that is burning, from candles to carved pumpkins to firepits. Fires ignite quickly and behave erratically.
- Make sure costumes offer visibility and ease of movement. Masks, hats, wigs, glasses and hoods can obstruct vision, and restricting the legs and feet can cause trips and falls.
- Dress for the weather. Make sure footgear is waterproof and has treads if it’s wet during the trick-or-treating adventure.
- Make sure one adult in the trick-or-treating group wears a reflective safety vest. Make sure each child has a glow stick or flashlight. In other words, see and be seen. If you’re traveling with a group, stay together and put kids on the buddy system.
- Drive slowly and cautiously on Halloween, especially on side streets.
- Inspect the treats when you get home. Make sure the haul is age-appropriate—tiny pieces of candy are choking hazards for younger children. Reject anything unwrapped or, sadly, homemade, unless you know the chef.
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