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Keep Halloween spooky and safe

PeaceHealth clinicians offer safety tips for kids and adults

Stay safe on Halloween: Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

October 27, 2017

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Whether your Halloween plans include escorting your little ghosts, goblins and zombies on their trick-or-treating adventures, or attending a ghoulishly great costume party that’s just for the grown-ups, celebrating Halloween safely should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list.

“The combination of small children, darkness and adults who are drinking is always a concern for us in the emergency department,” said Jason Hanley, MD, a PeaceHealth emergency physician. “Use flashlights or glow sticks so you can see better and — more importantly — be seen by drivers, and please be extra careful when crossing streets, and absolutely do not drink and drive.”

Injuries to the eye from sharp objects, trips and falls due to ill-fitting costumes and motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are some of the more common dangers to watch out for during Halloween revelry.

"Parents should have extra supervision of their children while they're out trick-or-treating. Be aware of where they are and what they're doing," recommended PeaceHealth Interim Nurse Manager Sabrina Coggins. "Drivers need to expect that there are going to be more kids out on the sidewalks and neighborhood streets."

PeaceHealth clinicians support taking the following precautions, as recommended by the non-profit Safe Kids Worldwide, to help ensure a safe and fun-filled Halloween for all ages:

  1. Be smart: Costumes should be the right size to prevent trips and falls and, if possible, made from light-colored materials. Use non-toxic makeup instead of wearing masks that can obstruct vision.
  2. Be seen: Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
  3. Be safe: Children younger than age 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. Older children should trick-or-treat in familiar, well-lit areas.
  4. Be alert: Popular trick-or-treating hours on Halloween are from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., so drivers should be especially alert for kids during those hours.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission.