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Top Ten Halloween Safety Tips For Families

Silver Cross Hospital Offers Advice To Celebrate The Holiday Safely 

Joliet, IL (October 18, 2011)— When we think of Halloween, we picture children laughing in colorful costumes, jack-o'-lanterns glowing in house windows, and buckets brimming with candy and treats. Experts warn, however, that this fun-filled night can pose safety hazards. Keep these ten reminders in mind to make sure that your kids have a safe Halloween.

halloweenmp9003095671. Make sure your child’s costume is flame-resistant and manageable. Avoid top heavy costumes that could topple him, or flowing costumes that could get wound around her feet and cause her to fall.  Avoid using anything around the neck that may pose a strangulation hazard, and skip the high heeled shoes. “The last thing any child or parent wants is to end up in the emergency room hurt and unable to celebrate Halloween,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., Emergency Medicine physician at the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen.

2. For the littlest trick-or-treaters, you may want to avoid masks all together. They may be frightening to the wearer, impede vision, make it difficult to breathe, and increase the risk that your child may fall. “Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision,” says Dr. Checco. “If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision to avoid trips and falls.

3. Remind kids not to eat or drink anything that is given to them until a parent looks it over first. This includes not only Halloween treats, but any potions or weird substances that might be part of a haunted house or Halloween decorations. Make sure kids know that even though things may look like food, they might not be.

4. Make sure that your child’s judgment, maturity, and safety awareness are well-developed before allowing him to trick-or-treat without a parent. If they do venture out alone or with mom and dad, make sure you are equipped with a cell phone in case of an emergency. Silver Cross Hospital has just launched a smartphone application that could save you or a family member’s life in an emergency. The ICE (In Case of Emergency) application creates one central location to conveniently store information about your health conditions and current medications along with emergency contacts. Silver Cross Hospital's ICE application is free and now available for download at the iTunes App Store. Visit www.silvercross.org to view the video. 

5. Young children may feel safer trick-or-treating before it gets too dark. The intensity of the evening, coupled with the “scary” themes, may be overwhelming for some little ones.

6. Go only to homes you know. Make sure houses are well-lit, indicating that they are welcoming trick-or-treaters as well as providing a safe walking space for your little ones.

7. Avoid using real candles in pumpkins on doorsteps, and remove obstacles kids could trip over from lawns and walking paths.  Keep an eye out for the same at homes you visit.

8. If your kids will be trick-or-treating in the dark, make sure they have flashlights and remind them to stay on the alert for traffic. Consider attaching reflective tape to their costumes so they are more easily seen by motorists.

9. When checking kids’ loot, be on the lookout for food your child may be allergic to, as well as any recalled foods or items that may pose a choking hazard for kids under 5.

10)  Be super careful with knives when carving pumpkins.

About the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center
The development of free-standing emergency centers throughout the country were in response to consumers who want more convenient ways to care for injuries and illnesses that are too serious to wait for a doctor’s appointment.  Silver Cross opened the first licensed free-standing emergency care center in the State at 143rd St and Bell Rd. in Homer Glen. 

The Emergency Care Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and staffed by Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. Paramedics are onsite 24/7 at the Homer Glen facility to immediately transfer patients by ambulance to the nearby hospital if they need to be admitted to the hospital.

Patients can check ER wait times—if any at www.silvercross.org for both the Homer Glen Free-Standing Emergency Care Center as well as Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet.

In the same building, Silver Cross also offers MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound EKG and laboratory services. And there are several physician offices including a pediatrician, podiatrist, spine surgeon, urologists, cardiologists, and family practice physicians. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.

About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895.  Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last seven consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,900 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction is well underway to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in Feb. 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox.  To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).

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