Local Doctors Warn of Halloween Horrors
(October 29, 2013) – Ghosts and goblins are scary for sure, but doctors warn real life Halloween horrors are caused by simple mistakes that parents, children and partygoers can easily avoid.
Local doctors at our area AFC/Doctors Express Urgent Care Centers expect to see a lot of visitors over the next week – not for treats but for treatment from Halloween accidents and injuries. That’s why they warn everyone to avoid the Top 6 Trick-or-Treat Dangers.
Top 6 Trick-or Treat Dangers:*
• Car Accidents – The American College of Emergency Physicians says children are twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night. Doctors recommend children carry flashlights, and stick reflective tape all over costumes and loot bags so drivers can easily spot them. Dress kids in glow-in-the-dark costumes so they really stand out. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly 60 percent of Halloween highway fatalities involve impaired drivers, so partying adults should be sure to have a designated driver.
• Wounds and stabbings – Swords and knives make for fun adventures but not when they hurt someone. Doctors will see a lot of accidental stabbings and even eye wounds when people accidently pierce someone with these costume accessories. Buy costume weapons made only of flexible material.
• Fright Night fires and burns – Pumpkins with candles inside are decorative for sure, but they’re a real fire hazard. Imagine the danger when children dressed in flowing ghost and princess outfits walk up your steps, knock over that pumpkin and catch their costume on fire. Replace real flame candles with battery operated candles. Also, make sure you read costume labels carefully and dress children only in “flame resistant” materials.
• Allergic reactions /infections – ‘Tis the holiday for crazy makeup, body paint and contact lenses that can cause serious allergic reactions and infections. Test makeup and body paint on a section of the arm to make sure there is no reaction. The FDA says stores shouldn’t sell contact lenses without a proper measuring and fitting, but some costume shops carry them anyway. No one should wear decorative lenses unless they’ve been fitted by an eye care professional.
• Cuts, bruises and broken bones – Dressed in outlandish costumes and masks, Halloween partygoers and trick-or-treaters will trip, fall and hurt themselves. In fact, falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury on Halloween, according to the National Safety Council. Make sure eye openings on masks are wide enough so wearers can see clearly. Be careful of decorative high heels or wacky shoes and slippers that make it difficult to walk. Children, should keep costumes as tight fitting and as short as possible so they don’t trip.
• Stomach aches and nausea – Eat dinner or a snack before hitting the town to trick-or-treat or before heading to a costume party. Overindulging in alcoholic beverages or candy can lead to sickness and vomiting on an empty stomach. Avoid digging in a basket or bag of candy and scooping out a handful of germs. It’s better if a homeowner hands out a piece or two.
We’d love to have you come interview our doctors about these Halloween safety tips. Please give us a call and we’ll arrange all interviews.
*Sources for information include American College of Emergency Physicians, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Federal Drug Administration, National Safety Council and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
About AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care:
Founded by an emergency room physician seeking a more efficient, affordable and personable system for urgent care patients, AFC Doctors Express walk-in medical centers are sweeping the country as the nation’s largest urgent care franchise. AFC Doctors Express provides state-of-the-art treatment for acute illness, trauma (including minor surgical procedures) and has on-site laboratory and digital x-ray service as well as medication dispensing. Pre-employment physicals, drug screening and treatment of work related injuries are also available to local employers. In 2013, American Family Care acquired Doctors Express, further expanding its reach and available services. By the end of 2013, AFC/DRX will operate more than 110 facilities in 28 states, providing care to more than a million patients. For more information, visit www.doctorsexpress.com.