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    Halloween Safety Tips from Sutter Health

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 26, 2010 - With Halloween just around the corner, doctors, nurses and other care providers in the Sutter Health network encourage parents and kids to prepare for a safe – but still spooky – Halloween.

    Whether plans include greeting trick-or-treaters at the door, heading out on the road for a costume party or shepherding children through the neighborhood at night, see what precautions you can take.

    On the Road
    If you are driving, be especially cautious on Halloween. It’s worse than the first day of school. Kids will dash across a street to a promising house: ‘Did you hear Mr. Jones is handing out Snickers Bars? The BIG ones?’ It can be a frightening night to drive with large groups of young children walking, sometimes running, along your darkened neighborhood streets on a quest for sweets. Be careful behind that wheel and take extra precaution.

    Costume Considerations
    Most kids aren’t used to wearing long skirts, capes or oversized shoes. When choosing their costumes, they aren’t considering how well they fit, but how cool they look. As a parent, our job is to be sure they can safely navigate the neighborhood or front yard without landing on their nose. Costumes shouldn’t be too long and should be light colored. If your child has a dark costume, reflective tape or a light-up accessory can help make them more visible in the dark.

    Masks are dangerous because they limit visibility. Face paint is a better option. If only a mask will do, suggest that it not be worn until after the ringing of the doorbell, and that the mask is taken off again during the retreat from the house to prevent any mishaps. Also, try to find one with large nose and mouth openings, with large eye holes. Masks should be avoided if possible.

    Preparing your Porch

    • Are steps clearly lit? Are walkways free of obstacles? Trips and falls are the most common injuries on Halloween.

    • Are candles out of harm’s way? Try battery-operated lights for a worry-free glow in jack o’lanterns and luminaries on your front steps and walkways.

    • If you have pets, where will they be when visitors approach your door? They can get spooked by the noise and additional traffic at your front door.

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