11 Halloween Safety Tips

11 Halloween Safety Tips

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This Halloween the kids will be out in force as the event falls on a Sunday. Expect a large number of trick or treaters to descend upon your home from late afternoon into the evening, seeking whatever goodies you have to offer.

Halloween can be a fun time for kids young and old alike. But, with any special event there are risks involved, potential hazards that can turn a fun event into a visit to the hospital ER.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) stresses the importance of taking proper precautions to avoid injuries this Halloween offering eleven safety tips to consider this year:

  1. Never let children carve pumpkins. Adults carving pumpkins should remember to use specifically designed carving knives, rather than kitchen knives, as they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin. Carve the pumpkin in small, controlled strokes, away from oneself on a strong, sturdy surface.
  2. Carving knives should be kept in a clean, dry, well-lit area. Any moisture on the tools, hands, or table can cause the knife to slip, leading to injuries.
  3. Should a pumpkin carver cut a finger or hand, make sure the hand is elevated higher than the heart and apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. If continuous pressure does not slow or stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, an emergency room visit may be necessary. Additionally, it may be wise to follow up with a hand surgeon to make sure everything is okay and nothing needs repair.
  4. Be considerate of fire hazards when lighting jack-o-lantern candles or use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights. Alternatively, try painting pumpkins for a fun, creative option and remove the risks of carving.
  5. Halloween costumes should be light and bright, so children are clearly visible to motorists and other pedestrians. Trim costumes and bags with reflective tape that glows in the dark.
  6. Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. Be sure the child’s vision is unobstructed from masks, face paint or hats. Costumes that are too long may cause kids to trip and fall, trim or hem their costumes as necessary.
  7. Children should wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
  8. It is important that children walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. They should also obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  9. Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  10. Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating and remember that these pets can impose a threat when you approach their home.
  11. It’s also a good idea to carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.

Happy trick or treating!

Photo Credit: Cary Bass

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Categories: Consumer Tips