Dr. Wally Ghurabi
This Halloween, I would rather not see any little ghosts, goblins or witches in our Nethercutt Emergency Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. Please take precautions and follow some basic guidelines to ensure the safety of all trick-or-treaters.
The safety tips below are based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Choose costumes and accessories that are flame-retardant, bright, and reflective.
• Apply reflective tape, if needed, or add stripping to costumes to increase their visibility.
• Make sure shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent trips or entanglement.
• Avoid masks that obstruct vision. Non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup and decorative hats may be safer alternatives.
• Swords, knives, and other accessories, if used, should be short, soft, and flexible to prevent injury.
• Trick or treat in groups of four or more. One or more adults should accompany young children.
• Stay on well-lit streets and in familiar neighborhoods.
• Use crosswalks or, if unavailable, cross streets only at corners.
• Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may not see trick-or-treaters.
• Stay on sidewalks and carry flashlights that improve visibility.
• Never cut across yards and stay out of alleys or darkened areas.
• Never enter a home unless you know the owner or resident.
• Remove items that trick-or-treaters might trip over, including garden hoses, potted plants, lawn decorations and toys.
• Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
• Keep walkways and porches dry to prevent slips and falls.
• Restrain pets that may get startled and bite trick-or-treaters.
• Never let small children carve pumpkins. Give them markers to draw faces instead.
• Use lights instead of candles that can ignite flammable objects.
• Feed children before they trick-or-treat to cut down on their hunger for candy.
• Examine all treats for choking dangers or signs of tampering. When in doubt, throw it out!
We’re here if you need us, but we don’t want to treat you … to anything but candy. Happy Halloween!
Dr. Wally Ghurabi is medical director of the Nethercutt Emergency Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. For directions or more information, call 310.319.4870.