Halloween's most common injuries have nothing to do with candy
- Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Pediatrics
Parents who worry about their children becoming ill from treats on Halloween can relax a bit. The types of injuries that send most kids to emergency departments on this holiday have nothing to do with candy, says the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Instead, the most common reasons kids visit the hospital on Halloween are eye injuries from sharp objects, burns from flammable costumes and injuries from collisions with vehicles.
The key to Halloween safety for all age groups is adult supervision, says Steven E. Krug, M.D., FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
This year on Halloween, consider these recommendations from the AAP:
Costumes, wigs and accessories should be made of flame-resistant fabrics. Candles and jack-o'-lanterns that glow on porches and walkways can ignite flammable costumes, especially baggy ones.
To help avoid injuries from falls, select soft, flexible props whenever possible. Any swords, canes or sticks, if used, should not be sharp or too long. Masks impair vision, so encourage trick-or-treaters to dress up in hats and nontoxic makeup instead.
Flashlights, along with bags or costumes outlined with reflective tape, will make spooky revelers more obvious to motorists.
Parents should accompany children walking door-to-door, and ensure that trick-or-treating is confined to familiar areas. Stick to sidewalks, cross at corners and avoid darting from house to house. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing the traffic.
When trick-or-treaters arrive home, check their candy. Discard spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items, but realize that tampering is rare.