With another Halloween nearly upon us, it’s a good idea to pause to discuss important safety tips for children. We also need to remember teens and adults who are at risk for holiday injuries.
While parents may be most concerned about risks from tainted candy or choking hazards, by far the larger risks to children on Halloween are from injuries related to costumes and danger posed by cars and trucks.
Hospital emergency rooms see a spike in visits during Halloween. Alcohol and drug use are often contributing factors, with falls, motor vehicle accidents and altercations responsible for this increase.
One of the best ways to reduce your child’s risk of being struck by a motor vehicle is by placing reflective tape on the front and back of their costume. This will significantly increase their visibility to motorists at night and is especially important if the kids are wearing a dark costume.
It’s also important to be careful with costumes that have full face masks or eye patches. These can impede vision and lead to an increased risk for falls, head and neck injuries, lacerations and breaking bones.
Decorative or colored contact lenses purchased from a toy or novelty shop are not only illegal, but are poorly fitted and run a high risk for persons developing corneal ulcers and potential visual loss. Decorative contact lenses should only be obtained by prescription from an ophthalmologist or a licensed optometrist. Their lenses are properly fitted and sterile, not fraught with an increased risk of eye infections.
Don’t allow your kids, or your big kids, to overindulge on Halloween. Ration candy so that they learn to enjoy it in moderation. Inspect the candy in their trick or treat bags to make sure it is safe and unaltered.