Orthopedic Surgeons Want You to Have a Safe Halloween

Orthopedic surgeons are speaking out on Halloween safety, and offering trick-or-treating tips designed to keep you and yours out of the emergency room this year.

These surgeons, and the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America (POSNA), say that Halloween can be a very busy time for their trade:

  • Halloween was the holiday with the fifth highest number of emergency room visits among children 18 and younger behind Labor Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Easter.
  • Head injuries accounted for the greatest proportion of injuries on Halloween (17.6 percent)
  • Of the finger/hand injuries sustained, 23.6 percent were lacerations.
  • Children under age 5 (28.8 percent) and children ages 10-14 (28.5 percent) sustained the greatest proportion of injuries.

With this type of carnage and horror occurring, it’s no surprise that Orthopedic surgeons are up in arms (no pun intended).

Therefore, the AAOS and POSNA offer the following trick-or-treating safety tips:

  • Walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. Obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Costumes should be flame-resistant and fit properly. The child’s vision should be unobstructed by masks, face paint or hats. Costumes that are too long may cause kids to trip and fall, so trim or hem them as necessary.
  • Bright-colored costumes make it easier for children to be seen at dusk or in the dark. Add reflective tape to costumes and treat bags to provide additional visibility.
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable, slip-resistant shoes to avoid falls.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well-lit.
  • Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen. Do not point your flashlight above chest level to avoid obstructing the vision of other trick-or-treaters.
  • Be aware of neighborhood dogs when trick-or-treating, and remember that pets can impose a threat when you approach their homes.
  • Carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.
  • Children should always be supervised by an adult.

This is good advice, since so many improvised Halloween looks are flammable, or prone to catching on things and/or restrictive of peripheral vision. Think about some of the ones you’ve sported over the years.

These docs are on to something. Listen to their advice.

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