DAVENPORT, Iowa — Halloween season is descending upon us once again, and the spooky holiday always makes for a unique experience.
However, some of Halloween's iconic activities aren't without their share of risk. if you're not careful, the annual spooky festivities could be spoiled by a trip to the emergency room.
In a safety tip release published by Genesis Health System, health officials outlined injury statistics and safety tips for some of your favorite annual traditions.
According to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 3,200 Halloween-related injuries send people to U.S emergency departments every year.
Here's how the most common injuries break down:
- 55% are related to pumpkin carving
- 25% are due to falls while working with decorations, tripping on costumes and walking while trick or treating
- 20% are miscellaneous situations like lacerations, ingestions, and other injuries related to costumes, pumpkins, decorations, allergic reactions and rashes.
Among the injured, 54% were adults, 46% were under 18 years old, and 10% were kids 6 and younger.
Genesis offers several safety tips for each of Halloween's beloved activities.
- Kids should not be carving the pumpkins. If children want to participate in the process, let them scoop out the insides or draw the face.
- Use battery-operated lights or glow sticks instead of open-flame candles in your jack-o-lanterns.
- If using an open-flame candle, keep the lantern away from combustible materials like curtains, costumes and decorations, and never leave a candle unattended if it's lit.
- Wear a costume that fits properly; avoiding long or baggy outfits.
- Reduce fire hazards by choosing costumes made of polyester or nylon and practicing caution around open flames.
- Eye and nose holes should allow for full visibility and breathing.
- Use reflective additions on costumes or outerwear, bright costumes, a flashlight or glow sticks to increase your visibility in the dark.
- Use battery-operated lights or glow sticks to prevent fires.
- Pay attention to the placement of decorations.
- Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches if you're expecting trick-or-treaters.
- Use caution on ladders when putting up or taking down decorations.
- Always check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections and dispose of damaged lights.
Of course, during trick-or-treat season, driving always poses a risk as families line the streets at night.
You should always drive extra carefully on Halloween by slowing down and staying alert for unpredictable actions from excited kids, taking extra time at intersections, medians and curbs, navigating driveways slowly and carefully, eliminating distractions and turning on your headlights earlier than usual.
Trick-or-treat hours typically range from 5:30 to 9 p.m., so practice extra-safe driving practices during those hours on Halloween Night.
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