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Trick Danger and Treat Your Child to a Safe Halloween

Trick Danger and Treat Your Child to a Safe Halloween

While minor stomach aches from eating too much candy may be the most common hazard on Halloween, emergency physicians warn they treat many children for serious injuries on this day that could have been prevented.
"The most common injuries on Halloween are eye injuries from sharp objects, burns from flammable costumes, and injuries from collisions with motor vehicles," said Dr. Rick Blum, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "To ensure a safer Halloween, parents and caregivers should follow important safety measures."

* Make sure you see all the candy BEFORE your child consumes it. Avoid candy not wrapped in its original wrapper, as well as all fruit.
* Make sure your child stays on the sidewalks as much as possible (off streets) and obeys all traffic signals.
* Discuss the importance of staying together in a group. Require at least one adult to serve as chaperone during candy gathering, and forbid children from accepting rides from strangers or visiting unfamiliar homes.
* Avoid costumes that could cause children to trip, such as baggy pants, long hems, high heels, and over-sized shoes.
* Avoid costume contact lenses.
* Avoid masks, but if your child must wear one, make sure it is well ventilated and does not impair his or her vision.
* Make sure that costume fabric, wigs, and beards are made of flame-resistant materials, such as nylon or polyester.
* Make sure that costumes are visible at night; avoid dark colors. Add reflective tape to the costume to help make your child more visible to motor vehicles.
* Check that accessories such as swords, knives, wands and other pointed objects are made from flexible materials and have dulled edges.
"The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends that children "trick or treat" with adult supervision, at houses of worship, shopping malls, schools, or other types of community sponsored events," said Dr. Blum. "This helps eliminate children's interaction with strangers, and ensures that a responsible adult is present."
ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine with more than 23,000 members. ACEP is committed to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

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