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Parents Should Consider Simple Steps to Lessen Risk of Injury this Halloween
10/28/2008

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Pumpkins are everywhere, the air is crisper, and youngsters are dreaming of turning into cheerleaders, witches, and Disney characters in anticipation of Halloween. While Halloween can be a time of exploring imagination and exciting fun for children, parents need to explore simple steps to protect their children.

“The last thing we want is for a family-fun-night or trick or treating to turn into a visit to a local emergency room,” said Dr. Helen Ong, a physician on the medical staff at Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital. “Children should always be accompanied by an adult when walking down the street, especially since busy neighborhoods that are full of vampires and superheroes, also have more cars than usual. Once the candy loot is brought home parents need to examine each and every piece to make sure it is OK for the child to eat.”

The American Red Cross recommends that children:

  • Stay on sidewalks and out of the streets
  • Do not hide between parked cars or cross the street between parked cars
  • Wear brightly colored clothing
  • Use face paint instead of masks or costumes that cover your eyes
  • Keep away from open fires and candles because costumes can be extremely flammable

Have a grown-up inspect candy before eating, removing any open package and taking away small, hard pieces of candy that can present a choking hazard for young children

“Parents should be encouraged to park their cars appropriately and walk with their children to avoid serious injuries that are seen every year, many of which occur while loading and unloading from vehicles stopped in traffic,” Ong said. “Parents should think about safety, but this is also a time to enjoy with their kids.”

For more tips, visit the Red Cross Web site.

About Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital
Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital, soon to be Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville, is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women and infant care, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and wound care. Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS, or visit www.texashealth.org/hmec.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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