Halloween is quickly approaching, and ghouls and goblins everywhere are competing for this year’s best costume. It’s difficult not to get swept up in all the excitement and Hocus Pocus of Halloween! We all at the Level 1 trauma center at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas want to share some tips with you that can ensure a safe and frightfully fun Halloween.
Many of us celebrate Halloween ever year, but did you know that nearly 158 million Americans will partake in Halloween activities? According to the National Retail Federation, almost 66 percent of American adults celebrate Halloween. Halloween injuries are very common, so it important to remember to stay safe this fall season.
So whether your costume ideas include The Fox from Ylvis’ viral video, Walter White or Heisenberg from the hit TV show, Breaking Bad, or a flapper-inspired dress from The Great Gatsby, be sure and check out these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make sure you and your family have an enjoyable and spooky Halloween.
1. Go soft
Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
2. Don’t go solo
Avoid trick-or-treating alone; instead, choose to walk in groups.
3. Be seen
Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. Hold a flashlight or have kids use glow sticks to help them see and be seen by drivers while trick-or-treating. Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks and sidewalks wherever possible, or keep to the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
4. Candy detective
Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the number of treats you eat.
5. Eye spy
Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
6. Buyer beware
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
7. Goblet of Fire
Keep candlelit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
8. The Great Pumpkin
Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers and parents can do the cutting. Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
9. Dog tricks for treats
Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
10. Broom crossings
Remember to watch out for trick-or-treaters and drive safely. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
About the author
Megan Reynolds, MS, is the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Level I Trauma Center at Baylor’s flagship hospital in Dallas, Baylor University Medical Center. She is a native Texan and proud UNT Mean Green alum.