That’s an easy one: “Nothing is scarier than a trip to the emergency room,” said Mark Cichon, DO, chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Loyola University Health System. “In a season devoted to frights, it is our goal to keep everyone safe.”
Pumpkin carving injuries, trips & falls and choking injuries are all among some of the most common Halloween-related injuries that could make for a scary unplanned ER visit. Dr. Cichon offers his excellent tips for a safe Halloween. Here are some of our safety tips:
- When decorating, avoid candles – use LED lights and battery-powered lights instead.
- Take care not to overload electrical circuits with lights.
- Paper and dried plant decorations can easily ignite. Keep them away from flames, lights, and electrical cords.
- Keep porches and walkways well lit and free of debris and clutter that might be tripping hazards; Put reflective tape on your steps and along your walkway.
- Park your car in a garage, if possible. Mischief makers may egg your house or car.
- Lock up bicycles, gas grills and other outdoor valuables.
- Consider parties and visits to charity based Haunted Houses as an alternative to Trick or Treating
- Equip kids with flashlights. Add day-glo or light-reflective tape to their costumes.
- Make sure costumes are fire-safe and flame-resistant.
- Ensure costumes and masks don’t impair vision or present a tripping hazard.
- Make sure kids are dressed warmly and have comfortable, non-slip footwear.
- Costume accessories and props should be short , pliable, and soft – no hard, long, pointy, or sharp objects
- Inspect all candy before kids eat it. Be alert for choking hazards and watch for anything that is loose or unwrapped.
- Don’t let kids walk while eating candy on a stick – very dangerous if they trip.
- Don’t let kids eat homemade treats unless made by someone you know very well
- Stick to familiar neighborhoods and familiar houses
- Kids shouldn’t enter any homes unless they know the neighbors well
- Kids without adults should keep in groups
- Walk on sidewalks. Complete one side of the street, cross carefully, and complete the other side.
- Use cross walks and crossing lights whenever possible.
- Don’t forget about your pets – they could be upset by the unusual activity and may be skittish. Keep them inside and away from the door so they don’t frighten or nip at your guests.
- Be careful not to let your pets eat candy, which can be toxic to them.
- More: Halloween Perils For Pets … and People, Too
- Drive with great caution, particularly after dark – excited little goblins may dart out from anywhere.
- Watch out for drunk drivers
- Use pumpkin carving kits
- Adults should do the carving
- More: Pumpkins & perils: preparing for a fun & safe Halloween
Call your agent
If you should suffer any damage to your property or have any accidents during Halloween weekend, file a claim as soon as possible to get the claim process in motion. Be ready with the details of where and when the event occurred, along with the names and addresses of any injured parties or witnesses to the event. If there is damage to your property, report it to the police, take photos, and record the details so you won’t forget them later.