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Beware on Halloween PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia Sun Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 25 October 2012 06:15

Doctor Recommends Taking Proactive Steps To Stay Safe


Vampires and werewolves are not the only thing to keep in mind when going out for trickor- treating.

Dr. Stephen Jones, medical director with the ER and Trauma units at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center, stresses safety as an important accessory to enjoy Halloween.

"We're trying to stress safety all around, from people escorting trick-or-treaters and for drivers on the road as well," Jones said.

"It gets dark early now and children are excited to go trick or treating, but in their excitement they forget basic safety and you need escorts to take care of this."

Jones added that some of the injuries commonly seen on Halloween night are those from cars that bump or run into pedestrians.

"We only see a handful every year at each emergency room, but we're trying to prevent those catastrophes, [like] head injuries, from happening," the doctor said.

Carry Flashlights He recommends that both parents and children carry their own flashlight when walking so they can be lit up and easy to spot.

"Firefighters even suggest putting reflective tape on costumes so they'd be much easier to see," Jones said, noting that the parents' flashlight must be powerful enough to light the pathway in front of families to avoid obstacles that may be in their path.

He suggested staying in welllit neighborhoods, and avoiding homes where the porch lights are not on.

"I also tell people to trace a pre-designated route through familiar territory so they know where they're going and the area around them," Jones said.

He stressed that trick-ortreaters, and their escorts, should use sidewalks. If none are available, people should walk as close to the curb as possible, and against traffic, so that cars can light them.

And "walk, don't run, to avoid tripping and falling," Jones said.

Treats But safety doesn't end with trick-or-treating. It continues after the treats are received. "Never open treats in the dark," Jones warned. "They must be inspected by parents, and make sure each treat is individually packaged."

In the past, there were warnings about treats with foreign objects in them.

"We don't see a lot of problems with that because parents are very vigilant, but it's always a possibility," Jones said.

Nowadays, the doctor said, treats can be laced with chemicals or drugs.

He advised staying away from anything that looks different than normal or appears to have been opened, repackaged or tampered with in any way, shape or form.

"With a little bit of diligence and safety, everyone can have a Happy Halloween," Jones said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 October 2012 08:20