Emergency room visits spike around Halloween
With the possible exception of Christmas and Easter, Halloween is the sweetest day of the year, as heaping handfuls of candy are doled out to children, decked out in their favorite costumes. After all, where the sweet treats are, kids are sure to follow.
But unfortunately, over the course of their candy-gathering excursions, some may be paying a visit to a haunt they didn’t expect: The emergency room, due to injuries incurred while trick-or-treating, new numbers suggest.
Head injuries most common
“Halloween was in the top five holidays for ER visits between 2007 and 2015.”
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in partnership with the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, are reminding parents to keep a close watch on their kids as Halloween approaches, because ER visits are rather routine on Halloween, particularly among children. Based on data gathered from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, between 2007 and 2015, Halloween was in the top five holidays for admissions to the ER, behind Labor Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Easter, respectively. Additionally, of the injuries that were treated, nearly 20 percent were blows to the head. Most of the ER visits were boys and girls under the age of 14 at 56 percent.
Joshua Matthew Abzug, AAOS spokesperson and hand surgeon at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, warned that in the eager anticipation of Oct. 31 and the trick-or-treating that the day culminates with, safety often gets overlooked.
“Sometimes safety is the last thing on the agenda when having fun,” Abzug explained. “Before hitting the streets, parents should educate themselves and their children on the dos and don’ts to ensure safety while trick-or-treating. For example, they should watch out for vehicles, distracted walkers, poorly lit houses and other dangers.”
The following are some other trick-or-treating recommendations from both AAOS and POSNA:
- Avoid dark-colored costumes that can be hard for motorists to see. Ideal colors that are more easily identifiable include orange, yellow and neon hues.
- Consider outfitting your kids with a reflective vest and have them hold a flashlight so they can see and be seen.
- If boots are too clunky, shoes and sneakers should have plenty of grip and traction to avoid slip and fall accidents.
- Children under the age of 12 should always be accompanied by an adult or guardian.
- Make sure that loose-fitting costumes – or those with added features, like a cape or frills – are not too long as they could be tripping hazards.
- Steer clear of houses that don’t have adequate lighting, both on the home and in the driveway.
Avoidable injuries are at an all-time high
“Preventable injuries were responsible for 136,053 deaths in 2014.”
Preventable injuries have risen substantially since 1992, according to the National Safety Council, many of them deadly. In 2014, over 136,000 people in the U.S. were killed in accidents that could have been avoided, up 57 percent from 22 years earlier.
If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation. However, lawsuits can be expensive, and if there is a settlement, it can take months, if not years, before they’re resolved. With Global Financial Credit, you may be able to apply for a cash advance so that you can take care of expenses in the meanwhile. Check out our list to see if your legal situation makes you eligible.