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Halloween a dangerous day for kids

Oct. 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. emergency physicians say to avoid spending Halloween at an emergency room, kids should "trick-or-treat" at organized festivities at churches and malls.

Dr. Andrew Sama, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said the U.S. Census estimated 41 million children between the ages of 5-14 could hit the streets on Halloween and the risk of a child being hit by a car is roughly four times higher on Halloween than any other night of the year.

"Children should be out having fun and spending time with family and friends," Sama said in a statement. "They should not have to spend Halloween or any other night in the emergency department because of an injury that could have been easily prevented."

Other common Halloween injuries include eye injuries from sharp objects and burns from flammable costumes, Sama added.

To prevent experiencing any Halloween horrors, the ACEP recommended:

-- All children should be accompanied or supervised by parents.

-- Make sure children stay on sidewalks as much as possible and can be seen by drivers. Take a flashlight.

-- Make sure children know never to accept rides from strangers or visit unfamiliar homes or areas.

-- Avoid costumes that could cause children to trip, such as baggy pants, long hems, high heels and oversized shoes.

-- Avoid costumes and masks that obstruct the child's sight or vision.

-- Make sure costume fabric, wigs and beards area made of flame-resistant materials, such as nylon or polyester.

-- Check accessories such as swords, knives, wands and other pointed objects. Make sure they are made from flexible materials and have dulled edges.

-- Check all treats before children eat them.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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