Avoiding the ER this Halloween

Americans will spend $9.1 billion this Halloween on costumes, candy and decor but one expense no one wants is a holiday trip to the Emergency Room.


Carve carefully – keep your pumpkin carving safe and fun


The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimate about 50% of trips to the Emergency Room on Halloween come from pumpkin carving accidents.

  • Minimize your risks by making sure that children are using spoons for scooping and markers for tracing, but only adults are wielding the knife.
  • By carving with a pumpkin carving kit, rather than a regular knife, you are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin.
  • Make sure your pumpkins and tools are clean and dry. Moisture makes the process more dangerous.
  • Skip the real candle inside your pumpkin and use glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights instead.


Dress for success – Halloween costumes are not all created equally


What seems like a fun costume at home may not be the safest bet once you are out of the house.

  • Costumes should be flame resistant and properly fit.
  • When selecting fabric, choose bright colors made from polyester or nylon.
  • If your costume is too long, cut or pin the costume to avoid falls.
  • Your face should be unobstructed by masks, and avoid anything that dulls your senses.
  • Test makeup in an inconspicuous place before Halloween, to look for any surprise allergies.
  • Avoid colored contacts that are available without a prescription. While these are a neat accessory, they have been linked to serious eye infections including permanent vision loss.
  • Shoes should be comfortable and slip resistant.


On the road again – trick or treat confidently with these tips


Safe Kids Worldwide reports that there are twice as many child pedestrian deaths on Halloween than any other day of the year.

  • Carry a cell phone when trick or treating, so you can call for help immediately if it becomes necessary. Don’t use the cell phone except in case of an emergency.
  • An adult should always trick or treat with children under the age of 12.
  • For teens going out without an adult, plan the route they will take in advance and agree on a time to come home.
  • Only approach homes that are well lit, and walk on sidewalks, never cutting across yards or driveways.
  • Watch for fog machines on the trick or treat trail – for those with asthma they can trigger an attack.
  • Be mindful of pets in the neighborhood, as even the friendliest dogs may be nervous with all of the unpredictable Halloween activity.
  • Use reflective tape and have every member of your party carry a flashlight.
  • Once trick or treating has ended, an adult should sort through the candy and toss anything that is unwrapped, homemade, or looks suspicious.


Halloween accidents are usually easily preventable. Stay safe this Halloween!