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Beware of these 4 Halloween health hazards

Halloween is a holiday all about the scariest creatures of the human imagination, but oftentimes the spookiest parts of the holiday are the potential health hazards your family may encounter. As a parent, you want your children to have a fun Halloween where they can trick-or-treat to their heart's content. At the same time, you want to keep them safe on this very active holiday. Let's take a look at a few of the most common health hazards and how you can prevent them this year.

1. Trips and falls can spoil the fun

The main event for most families on Halloween is trick-or-treating. With very excited children walking very quickly around the neighborhood, this beloved Halloween activity can quickly turn into a safety hazard. Before your kids don their costumes and hit the sidewalks, make sure they aren't too long or too hard to walk in. If your little one trips over a long cape or gets tangled in the skirt of a dress, they may twist their ankle or scrape their knee, and you might end up at your local urgent care location on Halloween night.

2. Pay attention to allergies

For children with allergies, trick-or-treating presents a unique challenge. Parents who have children with allergies should take extra care to check the ingredients list of the treats in their bags. When you're trick-or-treating, look for the teal pumpkins that indicate a home has allergy-friendly treats. Food Allergy Research and Education, a non-profit organization, has recently started the Teal Pumpkin Project to encourage people to offer Halloween treats like stickers and small toys for children who have to be careful about what they eat.

3. Check for tampered treats

One of the most important pieces of Halloween advice from doctors at urgent care locations is to check your children's candy before they start eating it. Remind your children that they need to wait until you get home until they start unwrapping their treats. When you're inspecting the sweets, look for tears in wrappers, tiny pinholes, or any unusual discoloration or appearance. You should also avoid giving them any treats that are homemade and stick with the commercial candies free of signs of tampering so that you know exactly what ingredients are in them.

4. Be on the lookout for impaired drivers

Unfortunately, many adults take Halloween as an opportunity to indulge in alcoholic drinks and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Not only does this put their lives and the lives of other drivers at risk, but it endangers all of the children trick-or-treating on the sidewalks.

Parents should make sure their children's costumes are reflective or add strips of reflective tape if their costumes are dark. Your trick-or-treating group should also have flashlights and glow sticks for extra illumination. Try to prevent your little ones from running ahead of the group and always trick-or-treat in groups with adult supervision.

Halloween should be a holiday filled with fun, but it can quickly end in a visit to an urgent care location if you don't take the proper precautions. Follow these tips for a safe Halloween and contact your local Indigo Health if you have any concerns for the upcoming holiday. We're open until 8 p.m. on Halloween if you need us.

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