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Pediatric Health

Trick or Treat Your Way to a Safe Halloween

16 Tips to Prevent Typical Halloween Injuries

October 01, 2010
When your little ghosts and goblins head out on Halloween, don't let preventable accidents and injuries haunt you. A trip to the ER isn't something you want your trick-or-treater to bring home.

"Injuries can run the gamut. In the past, we've seen Kids who have been injured by a car as they run across the street. Other kids have injuries tied to their costumes. Costumes are either flammable, ill-fitting – which can cause a spill to the ground – or they include sharp objects like swords or knives that poke eyes or cause a deep cut," explains Mitch Goldman, D.O., medical director of the Hilbert Pediatric Emergency Department at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent.

Dr. Goldman and his pediatric ED staff recommend the following tips to keep your little pumpkin's light shining this Halloween:

Safely staying in character

• Wear clothing (costumes, wigs and accessories) that is bright, reflective and flame-retardant.

• Use face paint instead of masks that can obstruct vision, and avoid wearing hats that will slide over the eyes.

• Wear well-fitting costumes and shoes to avoid trips and falls.

• Select swords, knives and similar costume accessories that are short, soft and flexible.

• Carry a flashlight or outline bags or costumes with reflective tape so children are more obvious to motorists.

Being street smart

• Accompany children walking door-to-door.

• Have older children walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

• Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.

• Go to houses on one side of the street before crossing at the top and going down the other side.

• Cross streets at the corner and NEVER cross between parked cars.

• Never walk near lit candles or luminaries.

Battling the (sugar) buzz

• Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.

• Eat only factory-wrapped treats.

• Limit the amount of sweets.

• Set rules that candy comes after a Healthy snack or meal.

• Label plastic sandwich bags for each day of the week for a set amount of time. Allow children to divide candy into labeled bags with the understanding that once the bag is empty, they need to wait until the next day for more.


Many kids start planning their Halloween costume weeks in advance. But what about kids who are unable to trick-or-treat due to a medical condition?

St.Vincent hasn't forgotten about them. And, with your help, we can make their Halloween sweeter than they ever imagined! Join us for Trick-or-Treat for Kids Off Their Feet, which benefits the young patients at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent.

All you have to do is collect small "treats" for pediatric patients who are unable to trick-or-treat on Halloween night due to an illness, injury, surgery recovery or frail immune system. Below is a list of recommended "treats." (Please note that they must be new due to infection control issues.)

• Baby dolls

• Boxed puzzles

• Bubbles

• Board games

• Character pillowcases

• DVDs

• Coloring books

• Crayons

• Hot Wheels

• Infant toys

• Legos

• Playing cards

• Princess crowns

• Rattles

• Silly Bandz

Simply deliver items to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent, located behind the main hospital at 2001 West 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260.

For more information and to download flyers to pass out to neighbors, groups or classmates, go to peytonmanning.stvincent.org, or contact Molly Giles in the St.Vincent Foundation at 317-338-7193 or mmgiles@stvincent.org.

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Tags: Health, Kids, Local, Toddler, Tweens & Teens

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