House Call: Halloween Safety

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 11:25 AM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Kids love the magic of Halloween, but the COVID-19 pandemic means Halloween may be celebrated a bit differently. Tonight we are joined by Dr. Mary-Ann Phillips, MD, pediatrician at UHC.

1). Doctor, what can you do to better ensure safety for this Halloween celebration?

You can still have fun this Halloween! First and foremost, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to ensure your celebrations are safe. Everyone can make this Halloween safer. Make sure to think about what steps you need to take to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.

  • If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.
  • In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. o In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
    • Try to physical distance when around others.
    • Wash your hands frequently, and when soap and warm water are not available, you can use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

2). When it comes to Halloween costumes, what should you look for when selecting an appropriate costume?

To help ensure that both adults and children have a safe Halloween, here are a few Halloween safety tips that you should consider.

  • You want to choose a costume that will not cause a safety hazard.
  • All costumes, wigs, and accessories should be fire-resistant
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
  • When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
  • Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation

3). What are some general safety tips that we all need to consider whether we are going trick-or-treating or if we are a motorist?

I am glad you asked that question, because a scary statistic is that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween, compared to any other day of the year. Lack of visibility due to low lighting at night also plays a factor in these incidents.

Keep these tips in mind when your children are out on Halloween night:

  • A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
  • Do not allow your children to go to unfamiliar places.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
  • Agree on a specific time children should return home
  • Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends

If you have plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:

  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

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