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Tips to skip the spooky and opt for safety


October 25, 2019

The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp and cool, and as summer winds down to a close, autumn brings in a whole new season of family traditions and fun. Here are a few ways to avoid spooky emergencies and opt for safety this fall.

Carving safety

Carving a pumpkin can be tricky. Here are some tips for carving with care:

  • Be sure your pumpkin, your hands, and your tools are dry.
  • Carve in a well-lit area.
  • Let children draw the design and scoop the pulp. Assign carving duties to adults only.
  • Use a pumpkin carving kit. Its saw-like tools work better and are safer than knives, which don’t move easily through pumpkin skin.
  • Cut in short, controlled strokes. And always cut away from yourself.

If you do cut a finger or hand while carving that pumpkin masterpiece, put direct pressure on the wound using a clean cloth for 15 minutes.

For minor cuts, go to urgent care, but if the bleeding doesn’t slow or stop, you may need to go to the Emergency Department.

Candy safety

Your child has a bag full of candy and they’re ready to eat it all. But before anyone digs into the sweet treats and your children’s candy gets the all-clear, be sure to inspect the candy for potential hazards.

Ingredients: Candy is a common concealer for many food allergy triggers like tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk, wheat, and soy. If your child has a food allergy, be sure to check the ingredients. Make sure that the candy does not contain allergens and that it was not produced in a facility that processes the allergen.

Packaging: Make sure that all candy is in its original commercial wrapper. Check for signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration and holes or tears in the wrappers. Throw away anything that has been opened or looks like it may have been altered.

Size: Some candy may be too small for young children and pose a choking risk. If you have young children, remove potential hazards like gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys that may look like candy.

Costume safety

If you plan to dress up, be sure to choose a fitting disguise. Help kids pick costumes that

  • Fit well and won’t make them trip. Capes, dresses, and even shoes can be tripping hazards if they don’t fit
  • Are made of flame-retardant materials
  • Have reflective tape for nighttime visibility and aren’t too dark
  • Include light sticks or a flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Make sure objects that are part of the costume, such as swords, are soft and flexible.
  • Wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes, especially if you plan to be walking long distances

Accessorize: Use nontoxic makeup, which won’t block vision like a mask might. Test the makeup in a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it a few days in advance. If a rash, swelling, or other signs of irritation develop, your child may have an allergy and shouldn’t use that makeup.