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ER Doc Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Update Date: Oct 29, 2013 04:10 PM EDT
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Halloween is coming soon, and doctors are giving parents of trick-or-treaters a few safety tips.

Experts say it only takes a few basic precautions to keep children safe this spooky holiday, according to HealthDay.

Dr. Sampson Davis, an emergency medicine physician at St. Michaels Medical Center in New Jersey said that parents should put reflective tape on costumes and goody bags to help drivers see trick-or-treating children as they go from door to door.

"It is vital and lifesaving to have reflective items on your costumes or a flashlight in hand," Davis said in a news release. "Help drivers spot you with ease. With dark colors of Halloween costumes and some accompanied by a mask, a driver may have difficulty seeing you."

It's also very important that children trick-or-treat with a chaperone or in groups. Davis said that children should walk in groups or with a trusted adult. Parents should also tell there children to pay attention at all times and go only to well-lit homes.

"The reality is there are predators who use Halloween in particular as a day to disguise themselves when plotting an attack," Davis said. "Safeguard your children by making sure they stick together in large groups and have an adult along to prevent an incident from unfolding. Never approach or get in a car with a stranger and never enter the home of a stranger."

Parents should also make sure that children's costumes are safe by making sure that accessories are soft and pliable. Parents can also reduce the risk of eye injuries by preventing their children from wearing decorative contact lenses.

"I often treat patients in the emergency department with eye infections and injury from decorative contact lens," Davis said. "Either the lenses are kept in too long or shared among friends, or [they have] an allergen component-all leading to an increased risk of a bacterial infection and permanent eye damage."

To prevent tummy aches and illness from holiday treats, researchers said that children should eat only factory wrapped candies.

"Discard homemade treats and unwrapped goods," Davis said. "The risk isn't worth it, as one doesn't know the exact ingredients used in preparation. Prevent possible allergy exposure, bacteria and, lastly, poison by only allowing wrapped, sealed treats."

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