Halloween is one of the most thrilling nights of the year for children. Kids will dream of spooky costumes, jack-o'-lanterns, haunted houses and trick-or-treating, and may not be thinking about safety. "Many of the risks kids face on Halloween can be avoided if parents discuss important safety precautions with their kids," said Loretta Esquibel, Public Education Coordinator of the New Mexico Poison Center. As parents and children take time to construct costumes and decorations, the New Mexico Poison Center wants to make sure that Halloween is fun and safe for children and recommends the following safety tips:
· An adult should accompany young children on Halloween and limit trick or treating to familiar, local neighborhoods.
· Use a flashlight after dusk and watch for cars.
· Make sure costumes are brightly colored and made of flame-retardant materials and put reflective tape on costumes and on trick-or-treat bags.
· Check all treats before they are eaten! Feed your children before they go trick or treating so they won't be hungry and want to eat the candy they get before you have time to check it. Bring along pre-purchased candy if you think your children might be tempted to eat before you can get home and check out the goodies they collect.
· Check homemade treats and fruits for foreign objects that may have been inserted or injected. Look for pins, razor blades, and needles.
· Only eat treats that are in original, unopened wrappers. Throw candy away if wrappers are faded, have holes or tears or show signs of loose wrapping or re-wrapping.
· Drugs can look like candy. If you are not sure it is candy throw it away.
· Remember that some treats can be poisonous to pets, especially chocolate.
· Select non-toxic materials when using make-up and watch for skin irritations like rash or itching. If an irritation occurs wash the make-up off immediately with soap and water.
· Dry ice can be used in punch bowls but do NOT use in individual glasses because it can cause frostbite.
· If you think someone has been poisoned call the New Mexico Poison Center for emergency treatment information at 1-800-222-1222.
· Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!
The New Mexico Poison Center is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of poisonings in New Mexico. The Center is a public service of the New Mexico College of Pharmacy and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.
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Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322