Halloween is a time for ghouls and goblins to roam the night, not blood and guts, at least not real ones that is. While the holiday is meant to be fun and filled with wholesome scares and delicious treats, there are some frightfully real dangers that also tend to pop up this time of the year. Our Halloween safety tips are here to keep all of the scares fun and all of the treats safe!
Car and pedestrian accidents spike on Halloween, there is also an increase in the number of house fires, a knife in the wrong hands can turn pumpkin carving from fun to frightening in seconds, and it’s easy for a child with food allergies to grab the wrong snack. What do a majority of these accidents have in common? They are completely preventable when the right precautions are taken. Take a few moments to look over these helpful tips so “boo” doesn’t turn into “boo hoo.”
Keep Costumes Safe
Halloween is perfect time to let your creativity shine through! It’s the one time of year both kids and adults can let their imaginations run wild and step into the shoes… and face… of someone else. When creating the perfect Halloween costume keep these tips in mind so that a scary good costume doesn’t turn into a flat out scary situation.
- Swords, staves, and costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
- Use reflective tape on costumes to help drivers see trick or treaters better.
- Keep glow sticks out of the hands of young children. They can break open the stick and swallow the liquid or splash the fluid into their eyes causing a burning sensation.
- Choose well-fitted masks that do not interfere with your vision or use safe, non-toxic makeup.
- Make sure the costume is properly fitted to avoid tripping.
- Footwear should fit well and be comfortable.
Masks aren’t the only way to transform your look this Halloween. Makeup is always a popular option for zombies, vampires, or just about anything your imagination can dream up! However, before you slather on the face paint, do a little homework to make sure what you are putting on you or your child’s face is safe and non-toxic. Look for products that have been approved by the FDA. The same goes for glues and adhesives. Do not use the same glue for makeup or prosthetics that you’d use for household needs. If you are applying false eyelashes, purchase glue especially made for eyelashes.
Theater makeup is a great choice for Halloween because it is made with higher quality pigments and is designed to be worn for long periods of time. These cosmetics are also FDA-approved and free of harmful ingredients like lead. If you are unsure about a product do a patch test. Take the makeup and dab it on a small patch of skin, the arm is a good choice, at least 48 hours before you plan on using it. If you experience redness or itching do not use, try something else.
“Cosmetic” Contact Lens
There are some spooky looking contact lenses on the market today. These lenses have the power to transform your everyday eyes into blood shot zombie eyes or give you a cat-like yellow stare. What’s even spookier about these “cosmetic” contact lenses… they can severely damage your eyes.
Contact lenses are not cosmetic devices, they are medical devices that need to be fitted and prescribed by a medical professional. Over-the-counter lenses can lead to scratches on the cornea, eye infections, decreased vision, and even blindness. Over-the-counter lenses sold online or in costume supply stores are also in violation of the law. It is illegal to sell any type of contact lens without a physician’s prescription. If you want to change the look of your eyes for Halloween or just for fun, please schedule an appointment with your doctor so they can help you choose the best option for you!
Kids are out trick-or-treating and adults are out celebrating with friends. The roads are packed with drivers and pedestrians enjoying Halloween festivities! For kids and adults alike the excitement can reach a fever pitch and it’s easy to get carried away or distracted. That’s why serious car and pedestrian accidents tend to increase on Halloween. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween, than on any other night of the year. Don’t risk your safety, or someone else’s, whether you are driving or walking around the block, follow these precautions.
- Slow down- Take it slow and be alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited and may move in unpredictable ways. Children may not always be crossing at designated intersections, in fact a majority of accidents do not occur in crosswalks, so keep your eyes open.
- Exit Carefully- Double and triple check your surroundings when entering and exiting driveways and alleys.
- Stay visible- Turn on your headlights, even during the daylight hours, in order stay as visible as possible to children and other motorists.
- Don’t drive distracted- Avoid distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Never text and drive!
- Don’t drink and drive- Halloween parties aren’t just for kids! Adults get into the spooky spirit as well, just don’t dive too deep into the “spirits.” If you plan on heading out for the evening make sure you assign a designated driver or keep a list of taxi service phone numbers in your wallet. Never get behind the wheel of a car if you’ve been drinking, even if you think you feel okay.
- Be bright at night- Wear reflective tape on costumes and treat containers in order to improve visibility to drivers. It’s also a good idea to carry a flashlight and an extra set of batteries.
- Don’t cover up- Make sure that masks don’t obstruct vision. If a child can’t see properly they may not be able to see oncoming traffic or trip and fall.
- Go with the flow- If there are no sidewalks, always be sure to walk on the left side of the street facing traffic. Never walk against the flow of traffic.
- Obey traffic rules- Cross streets only at the corner. Don’t cross between parked cars or in the middle of a block. Look left, right, and then left again before crossing the street.
- Put away electronics- Put down electronic devices when out walking. If you are distracted it can be easy to miss a car heading your direction or a crack in the sidewalk.
- Adult supervision is required- Small children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult.
We’ve grown up on rumors of poison apples and razor blades in candy. The neighbor down the street had a friend, who knew another friend, who had it happen to their child. Many of these fears came from real, but isolated events, such as the 1974 case of a man who poisoned his own son’s Halloween candy in order to claim life insurance money on the child. Stories like these tended to spread fear through neighborhoods but these incidents tend to be isolated and rare. Out of an abundance of caution parents should always inspect their child’s candy for anything out of the ordinary. However, it’s also important to remember to look for other very real dangers lurking in your child’s candy collection.
- Chocking hazards- Make sure candy is appropriate for your child’s age. Could it pose a chocking hazard? Do suckers or lollipops have a safety stick suitable for smaller children?
- Food allergies- If your child has food or nut allergies always sort through their candy after parties or trick-or-treating. Look for ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction and always check the label to see if candy was manufactured in a plant that also processes nuts, soy, wheat, or eggs.
- Go prepared- If you or your children are planning to go out trick-or treating or to a Halloween party, go prepared. There are always scary good treats this time of year and it can be easy to bite into a homemade brownie or cookie without even realizing there were nuts in the mix. If you have an Epi-pen or similar device for allergic reactions, don’t forget to bring it along.
- Don’t over indulge- It can be easy to over-do-it at a party on both food and drinks. It can be even easier to snack on one-piece Halloween candy and before you know it, one becomes 10, which becomes 20. Gastrointestinal problems are common after over-indulging in the sweet treats that are so tempting this time of year. The same goes for those Halloween spirits. Pace yourself and drink plenty of water. Alcohol poisoning can pose serious health risks, and it bears repeating again, never drink and drive.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Halloween decorations are the cause of over 1,000 home fires each year. Stay “fire wise” with these helpful tips.
- Avoid long and billowy fabric in costumes. It can be both a tripping and a fire hazard.
- Make sure children’s costumes are flame resistant.
- Always have an adult light candles in jack-o-lanterns using fire place style matches or a long utility lighter. You can also use flameless, battery-powered candles to add a spooky glow to your displays instead.
- Keep dried flowers, corn stalks, crepe paper, and other decorations away from candles, open flames, and heat sources.
- Avoid over decorating exits. There should be nothing blocking potential escape routes.
On Halloween sometimes the costume is fake, but the blood is real. If you have a medical emergency try to communicate to emergency room staff how and where you were injured, especially if a component of your costume contains fake blood.
We are a full service ER with state-of-the-art imaging equipment, a laboratory, and a highly qualified staff. Whether there’s been a pumpkin carving mishap and you need stitches, are having a severe allergic reaction, or have been involved in an accident, we can diagnose and treat your emergency situation. Remember if you or a loved one is hurt or becomes sick we are open 24/7 to provide you with fast and compassionate care, even on Halloween.