A Healthy Dose Of Halloween Safety

Thursday, 6 Oct 2011, 4:54:00 AM

(unassigned)

Dr. Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.
Courtesy Photo
Dr. Wally Ghurabi, medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.

Dr. Wally Ghurabi

Special To The Mirror

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 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 striping 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 younger children.

• Stay on sidewalks and well-lit streets in familiar neighborhoods.

• Carry a flashlight to improve visibility.

• Use crosswalks or, if unavailable, cross streets only at corners.

• Don’t assume the right of way because motorists may not see trick-or-treaters.

• 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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