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Tips help keep kids safe on Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, the staff at Ennis Regional Medical Center is trying to spread the word about Halloween safety.
Trauma coordinator Kim Loflin says the hospital treats children every year injured as a result of not following common safety rules while trick-or-treating.
“We treat children every year that have not followed simple safety tips or that were involved in some sort of mishap that could have been avoided by a little extra caution being taken by homeowners, parents and the children participating in Halloween festivities,” she said. “Instead of treating patients after something has happened to them, we’d much rather help everyone take steps to avoid needing to come to see us at all because all of us at ERMC care about the families in our community.”
Tips for trick-or-treaters include:
• Only go to houses that have their lights on.
• Do not accept rides or get into the car of a stranger.
• Carry a flashlight and wear reflective material or tape on all costumes.
• Costumes should not drag on the ground.
• Wear shoes that fit, even if they do not match your costume.
• Always walk, don’t run.
• Stay on the sidewalk and if there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
• Obey traffic signals.
• Trick-or-treat in neighborhoods you are familiar with.
• Do not cut across yards or driveways to avoid tripping over something.
• Take your mask off when walking to the next house to see things better.
• Do not pet animals you do not know. Your costume may scare animals.
Loflin said reminders for parents are as important as for their children since they are the ones buying the costumes and in charge of the activities.
"Many accidents can be avoided if an adult takes the time to ensure that the safety tips are followed," she said. "I know parents would much rather spend a few extra minutes going over safety rules than spending time in the emergency room with a hurt child."
Parent safety tips include:
• An adult should always accompany young children.
• Your child’s costume should be made of flame-retardant material and should not drag on the ground. Use make-up instead of a mask.
• Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home. Give your child quarters or a cell phone to call home.
• Know where your child is going and when they should be home. Give your child a watch, preferably one they can read in the dark.
• Tampering with trick-or-treat goodies is rare, but tell your child to bring fruit and candy home to be inspected.
• Look at the wrapping of candy carefully and throw away anything suspicious.
• Consider trick-or-treating at the local businesses instead of homes.
Loflin said homeowners could also play their part in making Halloween a safe evening for everyone involved by making sure their yard is free of items children may trip over or fall on.
Home owners safety tips include:
• Clear your yard of all hoses, flowerpots and other things that can trip a trick-or-treater. Turn on outside lighting.
• Secure your pets, unusual costumes can sometimes scare animals.
• Use battery operated jack o’lanterns when possible; avoid open flames. If you do use candles, place pumpkins far away from where the trick-or-treaters will be approaching your home.
• Consider healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters, such as packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single serving boxes of cereal, packages of fruit rolls or similar items.
• Consider non-food treats such as plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers and coins.
For more information on safety issues contact the hospital at 972-875-0900.

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Posted by on Oct 24 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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