Eskenazi Health Encourages Caution During Halloween Celebrations

Knowledgeable specialists provide helpful tips for trick-or-treating on Tuesday, Oct. 31

Indianapolis, Oct. 27, 2017 – While enjoying the traditional scary aspects of Halloween such as ghosts, haunted houses and spooky costumes, experts at Eskenazi Health encourage all seasonal revelers to be on the lookout for truly frightening occurrences that traditionally return this time of year.

No matter where you and your family live, Halloween provides lots of opportunities for fun, although parents should remain vigilant to ensure everyone has a happy and safe Halloween experience, especially in regards to road and pedestrian safety. 

In 2015, about 6,700 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 medically-consulted injuries occurred among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents, according to Injury Facts 2017, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council (NSC).

NSC research reveals about 17 percent of these deaths occurred when pedestrians improperly crossed roads or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting or dark clothing accounted for about 15 percent of the deaths. Other circumstances varied by age: Darting or running into the road accounted for about 15 percent of deaths in kids ages 5 to 9 and 7 percent for those 10 to 15.

"We highly recommend that all trick-or-treaters and their parents exercise extreme caution and wear reflective clothing and bright colors while outside enjoying Halloween,” said Dr. Tyler Stepsis, medical director of the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department at Eskenazi Health. “Whether it’s Halloween or not, parents and children should always take every precaution to remain safe.”

To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips, including dos and don'ts:

  • A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds

  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you

  • Agree on a specific time children should return home

  • Teach your children to never enter a stranger's home or car

  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends

  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home

  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant

  • Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision

  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them flashlights or glow sticks

  • When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first

  • Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation

Motorists should watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs, and also keep a sharp lookout for children wearing dark clothing.

For those parents and children planning to venture out for trick-or-treating, official hours for the City of Indianapolis are between 6 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

“As soon as youngsters return home from trick-or-treating, it’s natural for them to want to eat as much of their candy as they can,” said Ryan Bojrab, DPT, manager of Eskenazi Health Healthy Me and Eskenazi Health Wellness. “We believe parents should provide their children a good healthy meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating to discourage them from filling up on Halloween treats.”

Bojrab added that children with food allergies need to be extremely careful on Halloween. Consuming items that contain nuts or peanuts may result in a trip to the emergency room. Other common sources of food allergies in kids include milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

From a health and wellness aspect, doctors say children with diabetes can eat some candy, but the carbohydrates of each treat should be factored into the child’s meal plan for that day and the child’s insulin level adjusted accordingly. Food items such as fruit, trail mix or almond packets provide a great and tasty alternative to candy.

Youngsters receiving an over-abundance of Halloween candy may consider donating to a local program for children who did not have the opportunity to enjoy trick-or-treating. 

Parents should wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

For more information on the services Eskenazi Health provides, or to find a primary care physician, please call Eskenazi Health Connection at 317.880.8687. 

###

For nearly 160 years, Eskenazi Health has provided high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care to the residents of Marion County and Central Indiana. Accredited by The Joint Commission, nationally recognized programs include a Level I trauma center, regional burn center, comprehensive senior care program, women’s and children’s services, teen and adolescent care programs, Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health, and a network of primary care sites located throughout the neighborhoods of Indianapolis known as Eskenazi Health Center. In partnership with the Regenstrief Institute, Eskenazi Health conducts groundbreaking work that informs health information technology around the globe. Eskenazi Health also serves as the sponsoring hospital for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. As the public hospital division of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC), Eskenazi Health partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine whose physicians provide a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services. In December 2013, Eskenazi Health moved to its new main campus and opened the brand new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. The new modern and efficient facility is Central Indiana’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold health care campus and offers unique features like a one-of-a-kind sky farm and extensive art collection. The Eskenazi Health Foundation was the recipient of $40 million gift from Indianapolis couple Sidney and Lois Eskenazi to assist with building the brand new hospital facilities. HHC recognized this generous gift by naming the new hospital and health system in the Eskenazis’ honor.

CONTACT: Tom Surber
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972
Email: thomas.surber@eskenazihealth.edu