Halloween: How to Avoid Trips to the Emergency Room

By Dr. Leonardo Huertas, MD

Halloween can be a fun fall holiday for children, adults and families. But there’s also a rise in the number of people coming to the emergency department on Halloween because of accidents such as falls or allergic reactions.

Here are some ways to stay safe on Halloween.

When selecting a costume, make sure that there are no tripping hazards such as a long cape. If anything seems it can be stepped on and cause a fall, hem or cut the costume so it leaves enough clearance.

After picking out a costume, test it out at home prior to Halloween. Try out any makeup, wigs or other items to ensure there are no adverse reactions. While the heels or other costume-matching shoes might make the costume look best, shoes with flat soles are good for getting around on a variety of types of terrain, especially if there might be slippery leaves around.

If a costume has accessories such as a sword or wand, make sure it isn’t sharp.

Try to wear light layers. Halloween weather fluctuates from warm to cold in a given year, so wear warmer clothing that can be peeled off, if needed, is helpful.

If the plan is to go out after sunset, wear light colors and/or reflective clothing, if possible. A reflective vest can be worn over a costume while outside or reflective bands can be purchased to wear so people are visible to cars.

Bring a flashlight to see the road and any potential hazards.

While walking at night, try to face traffic to see oncoming cars.

Leonardo Huertas, MD, is chair of emergency medicine at Huntington Hospital

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