No scarier place on Halloween: Hospital ER

Oct. 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Nothing is scarier on Halloween than a trip to the emergency room but carving pumpkins, fire and using ladders increase the risk of injury, a U.S. doctor says.

Dr. Mark Cichon, chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Loyola University Health System, advised parents to supervise anything burning, from scented candles to carved pumpkins to fire pits.

"Fires can happen in a flash and get quickly out of control," Cichon said in a statement. "The colder temperatures invite the warm glow of candles to the excitement of an end-of-season bonfire. Watch out for burning leaf piles."

Invest in a pumpkin carving kit and avoid knives, Cichon advised.

"Manipulating a sharp knife in a rigid pumpkin rind without injury is almost impossible for an adult or child," Cichon said. "Proper tools make sure you carve the Jack O' Lantern and not yourself or a loved one."

Use extra precaution when climbing ladders to hang decorations inside and outside.

"Falls from ladders are one of the top reasons adults come to the emergency room and they are largely avoidable," Cichon explained. "Use the right-sized ladder, and one that is safe, and work with a partner to do the job right."

Avoid overtiring children. Make sure a good night's sleep starts Halloween day and rest up before the night's activities. Eat healthy meals, drink plenty of water and maintain regular bedtimes.

"Fatigue can lower resistance, leading to illness and injury," Cichon said.

Playful antics by enthusiastic celebrants and even barking dogs can frighten children and cause them to react suddenly.

"Falling down porch stairs, tripping over curbs and even colliding with others can result in harm," Cichon said.

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