Halloween injuries 'need to be reduced'

  • Deborah Condon

Over 1,200 children attended the A&E unit of Dublin's Temple Street Children's Hospital with burns and scalds last Halloween.

This year, consultant paediatrician, Prof Alf Nicholson, is appealing to parents to be more cautious when it comes to their children's safety.

The 1,200 children who attended the A&E unit over the Halloween period last year represented one in three of all cases seen by the hospital at that time. Most of these children were under the age of five.

"There were over 75 firework incidents requiring a trip to hospital in Dublin last year and we need to reduce that number this Halloween," Prof Nicholson insisted.

He has isssued a number of tips to help ensure a safe and healthy Halloween for families:

-Avoid fireworkds and bonfires. Fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries. People should only attend firework displays that are run by professionals.
-Children should not hold fireworks at any time. Even after they have been used, fireworks can explode again. They should be put into a bucket of water before they are disposed of.
-If using sparklers, these should be kept outside and kept away from the face, hair and clothing.
-Children's costumes should be easily visible at night. Children are advised to carry a small torch.
-Costumes should fit well and should not restrict a child's vision. This will help avoid unnecessary falls. Masks should be removed when crossing the road.
-All costumes, wigs and bags should be flame resistant.
-Young children should always be accompnaied by an adult when they go trick or treating. Older children should always be with at least two other friends. They should stay together at all times.
-Children's treats should be checked, e.g. that a young child has not been given something they could choke on. This also applies to Halloween games and brack, which may include coins or rings that could be swallowed.

For more on safety at Halloween, see our feature here


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