Stay Safe This Halloween

halloween safetyIt’s the spookiest night of the year. But make sure your scares come only from kids in costume by following these safety tips from Matt Johnston, MD, Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director.

1. Careful With the Costume

Whether it’s homemade or store bought, costumes should not be too tight or too loose. Avoid flowing costumes that kids can trip on or props that can get in the way. Be sure your child can see well out of his mask and is wearing proper shoes. It’s also a good idea to have the child wear a glowing necklace or reflective tape.

2. Trick-Or-Treat in Groups

You don’t need to wait until dark to trick-or-treat. In fact, you should plan to start early and end before dark. It’s a good idea for children to go out in groups, and they should always be supervised by an adult. Carry a flashlight and stay close to home. That way you’ll know many of the people and won’t get lost in neighborhoods. If you’re wondering what homes to let your children approach, check if the porch light is on. That’s typically the sign of whether they’re welcoming trick-or-treaters. And always watch out for cars and other trick-or-treaters while driving.

3. Control the Treats

Before your child tears into her treat bag, inspect all of the contents. Throw away anything that’s loose or not in a wrapper. Never let your child eat anything that’s been opened. And unless you want your child up all night on a sugar rush, you’ll want to limit the amount they have to a few pieces each day.

With just a few precautions, you can ensure your children have fun and stay safe this Halloween.  But if you do need non-emergency healthcare, our South Sixth ExpressCare, 2950 S. Sixth St., will be open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Lab and medical imaging services will also be available during those hours.

All three of Memorial’s ExpressCares, which include our locations off North Dirksen and in the Koke Mill Medical Center, will be open during their regular hours 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Do you have other tips on keeping kids safe on Halloween?  Share them in our Comments section.