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29 Oct  

A Healthy Dose of Halloween Safety Tips

Dr. Wally Ghurabi
Source: Santa Monica Mirror
Posted Oct. 28, 2010, 12:45:00 pm

This Halloween, I would rather not see any little ghosts, goblins or witches in our Nethercutt Emergency Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.  Please take precautions and follow some basic guidelines to ensure the safety of all trick-or-treaters.

The safety tips below are based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Costume Safety
• Choose costumes and accessories that are flame-retardant, bright, and reflective.
• Apply reflective tape, if needed, or add stripping to costumes to increase their visibility.
• Make sure shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent trips or entanglement.
• Avoid masks that obstruct vision.  Non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup and decorative hats may be safer alternatives.
• Swords, knives, and other accessories, if used, should be short, soft, and flexible to prevent injury.

Trick-or-Treating Safety
• Trick or treat in groups of four or more. One or more adults should accompany young children.
• Stay on well-lit streets and in familiar neighborhoods.
• Use crosswalks or, if unavailable, cross streets only at corners.
• Don’t assume the right of way.  Motorists may not see trick-or-treaters.
• Stay on sidewalks and carry flashlights that improve visibility.
• Never cut across yards and stay out of alleys or darkened areas.
• Never enter a home unless you know the owner or resident.

Home Safety
• Remove items that trick-or-treaters might trip over, including garden hoses, potted plants, lawn decorations and toys.
• Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
• Keep walkways and porches dry to prevent slips and falls.
• Restrain pets that may get startled and bite trick-or-treaters.

General Safety
• Never let small children carve pumpkins. Give them markers to draw faces instead.
• Use lights instead of candles that can ignite flammable objects.
• Feed children before they trick-or-treat to cut down on their hunger for candy.
• Examine all treats for choking dangers or signs of tampering.  When in doubt, throw it out!

We’re here if you need us, but we don’t want to treat you … to anything but candy.  Happy Halloween!

Dr. Wally Ghurabi is medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.  For directions or more information, call 310.319.4870


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