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Have a Hazard-Free Halloween

Silver Cross Hospital Offers Tips To Celebrate The Holiday Safely

New Lenox, IL (October 22, 2012)— 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. 

checco danielAn alternative is to throw a Halloween party and invite kids, rather than have them out on the street. If your kids will be going door-to-door trick or treating, however, some precautions can make the evening safe and enjoyable for everyone. “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. 

Tips for costume safety

Safety begins at home, with the child's costume. Every part of the costume -- masks, beards, wigs and clothing -- should be made of flame-resistant material, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). In the event that a child bumps up against a burning candle, such materials will quickly extinguish themselves. When purchasing a store-bought costume, look for a label that says "Flame Resistant." Choose costumes without big, loose sleeves, skirts or pants legs to lessen the chance of coming into contact with an open flame. 

If the costume is not brightly colored, and therefore not easily visible at night, add a strip of reflective tape, which is sold at hardware and sporting goods stores. Also to easily see and be seen, children should carry flashlights. 

“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.” 

Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling. 

Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. 

Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

Around the home

To make your home safe and inviting for trick-or-treaters, leave your front lights on so they may have a well-lit path to your door. (A well-lit home also reduces your chances of being "tricked" by holiday vandals!) Remove items such as planters, hoses and lawn decorations, so your visitors don't trip on them. Keep pets inside, out of harm's way. 

When carving pumpkins place the gourd on a stable, flat surface with good lighting.

Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin; parents should do the cutting.

Don't leave lighted pumpkins unattended. Place candle-lit jack-o'-lanterns far away from the door, so tiny goblins won't accidentally brush against them. Keep your indoor jack-o'-lanterns away from curtains and any decorations that could catch fire. The CPSC recommends against using candle-lit Halloween luminaries along your walkway; instead, place flashlights inside the bags. 

On the streets

Young children should trick-or-treat with an adult or a responsible, older child. Instruct children to stay on the sidewalk and out of the roadway. Remind them to walk, not run, and to go to houses only where they know the people inside. At no time should they enter a house, unless they are with a grown-up. 

While driving on Halloween, remember that the night will be filled with excited children who may forget their parents' warnings about street safety. Drive extra carefully, keeping an eye out for youngsters walking between driveways and cars, or crossing in the middle of the block rather than at the corners. Adult Halloween partiers should have a designated driver, of course. 

If you are not walking with your children, make sure you know who is with them -- and set a time for them to be home. 

Instruct your kids not to eat any of their goodies until a grown-up has had a chance to carefully examine them. 

Make sure the kids eat a healthy meal before trick-or-treating, so they'll be less likely to over-indulge on candy. 

About the Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen

The Silver Cross Health Center offers MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 740-7076.  And there are several physician offices including a pediatrician, podiatrist, spine surgeon, urologists, cardiologists, and family practice physicians. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit www.silvercross.org.  

Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center. The Free-Standing Emergency Care Center is located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Center is staffed with Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. 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 New Lenox. 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 seven consecutive years; one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers and was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety ScoreSM byThe Leapfrog Group. With over 2,900 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices and recently opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 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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