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Keep Kids, Pets and Even Adults Safe on Halloween with Safety Tips from Pittsburgh Poison Center and UPMC

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 27, 2015 – Children and adults both enjoy the Halloween holiday, but parents especially need to be aware that it can be a dangerous night for children who are out trick-or-treating. Pittsburgh Poison Center (PPC) is offering tips for families to make sure everyone, young and old, enjoy their night out and gather their goodies safely this year.  
Parents should keep kids in a familiar neighborhood and respect the designated trick-or-treating times in the area. It is important to inspect all candy and discard any homemade snacks or fruit from unknown sources and any candy if the packaging is torn, open or faded.
“To make it less tempting for the kids to dive in to their haul before they get home, parents should serve dinner or feed children a snack before they leave the house, said Michael Lynch, M.D., medical director of Pittsburgh Poison Center at UPMC Presbyterian.
Parents and kids also should be careful when choosing makeup for a costume. If using face paint, make sure that the labels say “made with U.S.-approved colored additives,” “laboratory tested,” “non-toxic,” or “meets federal standards for cosmetics.” Try make-up ahead of time on a small area of skin to test for a reaction and wash away all make-up with soap and water if there are signs of a skin reaction and prior to going to bed.
Halloween accidents can happen to adults, too. Cookies, gummy treats and other snack food made with marijuana, legal in other states, have been found in western PA. Read labels to look for “THC,” “tetrahydrocannabinol,” or “cannabis.” 
Dry ice can be a popular addition to the punch bowl, providing a smoking, witches cauldron effect but it can be dangerous if not handled properly. “Wear appropriate protective clothing, gloves and tongs when handling dry ice to prevent a painful frostbite. It should never be used in individual drinking glasses because direct contact can cause injury to the mouth and throat,” Dr. Lynch said.
PPC also offers some additional safety tips for parents during Halloween:
  • Keep candy away from pets. Some candy can be poisonous to animals.
  • Ensure that masks fit well, allow sufficient field of vision, and are removed while crossing streets.
  • Wear appropriate footwear while trick-or-treating or heading to parties to avoid trips and falls.

For more information and safety tips for the Halloween holiday, call the Pittsburgh Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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