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Staff File Photo / When children help with the jack-o'-lantern, give them tools designed for carving. And make sure their trick-or-treating costumes don't obscure their vision.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 13,016 Halloween-related injuries treated in emergency departments, doctors' offices and clinics across the country in 2018.

Here are some safety tips to consider so that you don't become a statistic this Halloween.

 

TRICK-OR-TREATING

Physicians with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons note that a few simple precautions can help make trick-or- treating safe and enjoyable.

* Walk on sidewalks, and never cut across yards or driveways. Obey all traffic signals, and stay in crosswalks when crossing the street.

* Wear costumes that are flame-resistant and fit properly. Make sure vision is not obstructed by masks, face paint or hats. Trim or hem costumes that are too long to prevent trips and falls.

* Wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.

* Approach only those houses that are well lighted and appear welcoming to trick-or-treaters.

* Carry flashlights to see and be seen. Do not point your flashlight above chest level to avoid blocking the vision of other trick-or-treaters.

* Add reflective tape to clothing and treat bags to allow vehicles to identify you more easily.

* Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating, and remember that pets can feel threatened when you approach their homes.

* Carry a cellphone while trick-or-treating.

* Always have an adult present with children.

 

JACK-O'-LANTERNS

If you are like many people, you may carve jack-o'-lanterns to illuminate your front porch. But carving pumpkins increases the risk of ghastly injuries.

"Pumpkin-carving is one reason emergency rooms see a spike in the number of people treated for hand injuries," says Jennifer Weiss, M.D., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and spokesperson for the AAOS. "To avoid these injuries, consider paint, markers or other noncarving decoration kits for young children to get creative with their pumpkins this year."

The AAOS recommends these tips for carving and lighting your jack-o'-lantern.

* Use a pumpkin carving kit or knives specifically designed for carving. These are less likely to get stuck in thick pumpkin skin. Some Halloween carving devices, designed especially for older children, may be safe for use with parental supervision.

* Carve pumpkins in a clean, dry and well-lit area, and make sure there is no moisture on the carving tools or your hands.

* If you are cut, apply pressure with a clean cloth and elevate the injured area above the heart. If bleeding does not stop within 10 to 15 minutes or if the cut is deep, you may need to contact your doctor. Make sure cuts are cleaned and covered with clean bandages.

* Avoid candles in pumpkins. Instead, use nonflammable light sources, such as glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights.

For more Halloween safety tips visit, OrthoInfo.org.

 

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