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No Tricks — Just Treats! Physician Offers Tips on Halloween Safety

NEW YORK (Oct 8, 2012)

Halloween is approaching, and many parents may wonder if trick-or-treating is safe. Dr. Luz Adriana Matiz, pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, suggests that with a few precautions, Halloween can be a happy and safe occasion for all. Dr. Matiz suggests that children limit trick-or-treating to familiar neighborhoods and neighbors. "It's important not to create too much fear in your children when you speak to them about Halloween safety," says Dr. Matiz. "But it's also essential that they understand that precautions must be taken." The following are 10 tips that every parent should remember:

  • Always go trick-or-treating with your children. Do not let your children enter a stranger's home or apartment — have them ask for the treats while waiting outside the door.
  • Do not let your children eat any candy before they get home and you examine it.
  • Make sure your children throw away any unwrapped foods or candies.
  • Make sure costumes are made of non-flammable material and are short enough so that your children don't trip.
  • If they are wearing masks, make sure the eyeholes are the right size and in the right place so that vision is not blocked.
  • If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat by themselves, have them go in groups — even if only on your block or in your building.
  • If your children are trick-or-treating at nighttime, make sure their costumes are bright in color, or have them wear reflectors.
  • If your children are walking on dark streets, have them take a flashlight. If they are walking in apartment buildings, accompany them inside.
  • Instruct your children on proper street-crossing safety.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, located in New York City, offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics — including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties — in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is Manhattan's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and one of the largest providers of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. It is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report.

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