Halloween Safety Tips from your OrthoDocs

Halloween is known as a favorite holiday, full of spooky fun and lots of candy. However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as we take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treating goodies. Let’s talk Halloween Safety!

Monsters and aliens are not the only scary things out on October 31st. Trips and falls (or even more serious accidents) can put a damper on Halloween festivities. But a little preparation and thought can go a long way in protecting you and your children from harm.Pedestrian injuries are the most common type of Halloween injury. There are four to five times more pedestrian fatalities on Halloween versus the average for the rest of the year.

Other common Halloween injuries are trips and falls from costumes that are too big or obstruct sight; burns from highly-flammable costumes; and cuts while carving pumpkins.

The following tips taken from the American Academy of Pediatrics and physicians at TOCA offers the following tips for Halloween safety:

Halloween Safety Tips from your OrthoDocs!

REMEMBER: The main thing to do is use your own common sense and rust your parental instincts. If it doesn’t feel safe or comfortable, then it probably isn’t; go with your gut, follow our advice, and keep things safe this Halloween.

Choosing a Costume

Everyone loves dressing up at Halloween, children most of all. And it’s so sweet seeing them go from door-to-door trick or treating locally – who doesn’t take a million pictures before they go out with their little buckets? But sadly it can be dangerous for some children, as there have been a number of well-documented accidents where children’s Halloween costumes were set alight by accident.

Don’t worry too much though- there are lots of things you can do to mitigate the risk. You need to make sure what you buy is as safe as it can be from candles, fires and sparks, and you need to brief them on what to look out for, as well as what to do if the worst happens. We’re sure everyone will stay safe this Halloween, but you can be super sure if you read our fullproof guide to Halloween costume safety!

1. Use flame-resistant materials

As it’s Halloween, your child is very likely to be near candles, lanterns, and other decorative flames. Polyester and nylon are both flame-resistant materials, for example. When picking out your child’s costume always look for the label “flame-resistant” and make sure there is a visible CE mark.

REMEMBER: It’s safer to choose costumes made up of one layer of heavier materials as opposed to flimsy, layered, frilly ones. Thinner materials made up of lots of layers tend to burn much faster because more oxygen can get to the fire.

2. Pick a costume that’s made out of ONE material

Costumes that are made of one single type of material will often catch fire more slowly than those that are made out of lots of different materials.

If a costume is made of a variety of different fabrics, they can all react to a flame in a different way and, in some cases, can fuel the fire even faster.

3. Wear clothes UNDER the costume

Not only because it can go from warm to chilly here in Arizona when you’re trick or treating but also because it’s safer. Speaking about costumes, Kevin O’Neill from the Fire and Rescue Service said: “These are toys. Toys have a lower fire safety requirement. They have a lower fire safety standard. Just be aware of that and take measures.

One of those measures is to ensure children are wearing clothes under the costume.

They should be wearing woollen tights for example or a woollen jumper or jeans. That way it gives some protection that if they were to catch fire you’ve still got a barrier between the garment and your skin.”

4. Ditch the capes

Capes are very common on Halloween costumes, but – as proven by Madonna – they can pose a tripping hazard even to adults. More worryingly, however, is the fact that they pose a strangulation risk.

And on that note…

Avoid costumes and costume jewellery that is tight around the throat. Avoid anything, especially cords and sashes, that tie around the neck.

5. Read the label on face paints

If you are buying face paints then they should be FDA approved. Always look for a CE mark and always check the packaging displays clear ingredients in English.

And remember that the words ‘non-toxic’ doesn’t always mean it will be safe for your skin. Do an allergy test on a small patch of skin before using on you or your childs face.

No matter how tired you are following a night of fun, make sure you remove any costume makeup before bedroom to prevent possible skin irritation.

6. Keep an eye on accessories and props

Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. If you think if you, a friend or your child would be hurt if their was a fall on the accessory, be it a wand or a sword, then do not wear it.

Again, look for a visible CE mark when purchasing.

7. Be careful with masks

You want to make sure that a mask fits well (so that it’s comfortable and doesn’t slip), that the eye holes are big enough to see out of, and that you can breathe comfortably while wearing it.

8. Remember to stay visible

Choose bright and light coloured costumes and clothing wherever possible. If you or your kids are heading out trick-or-treating or an outdoor party, carry a glow stick, and buy reflective tape and attach it to your/ your childs costume. This will ensure that motorists can see your child – and that you can keep an eye on them!

9. Don’t forget the shoes!

Related imageWear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. You don’t need to wear “red-carpet starlet” high heels; leave them at home and pop on sturdy footwear that you won’t trip in.

And, on the note, remember that many shoes that come with costumes are NOT meant for outdoor use; make sure your child is wearing shoes that fit properly and have proper grip to them, so that they don’t slip and fall. Also so they can comfortably survive the night walking around in their shoes.

10. And of course, make sure it fits

Do not purchase costumes that are flimsy, billowing, too big, or that drag on the ground; not only will this be a tripping hazard, but it could also get caught up in Halloween candles.

A Few Additional Halloween Safety Precautions:

While Out Trick or Treating

  • Be safe, be seen. To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
  • Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child.
  • All children should WALK, not run, from house to house and use the sidewalk, if available, rather than walk in the street.
  • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Parents should plan out the trick-or-treating route – best to stay on well lit roads with sidewalks.
  • Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.
  • For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
  • Bring a flashlight and cell phone with you.

Choose Safe Houses

  • Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
  • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
  • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches.

Image result for jack-o-lanternSmart Jack-o’-lanterns

  • Use a flashlight, battery tea light or flameless candle to light your jack-o’’-lantern.

When carving pumpkins:

    • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
    • Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin, then let an adult do the cutting.
    • Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lit pumpkins unattended

 

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics
http://www.aap.org

 

#TOCA #TOCAMD #Halloween #HalloweenSafety #KidSafe #MyOrthoDoc #HalloweenFun #Trickortreat #Halloweencostume #Holidays #Celebrate #HappyHalloween

7 Safety Tips for an Injury-Free Labor Day

Labor Day is synonymous with the end of summer, and the long holiday weekend is upon us. Labor Day is typically packed with celebratory events like backyard barbecues, final excursions to the lake, picnics at the park, and beach parties. But even festive events like these present hazards you should be aware of.

Whether you’re planning a final summer outing or staying home to wrap up summer chores, we want you and your family to enjoy a safe close to the season. To help you do so, we’ve gathered these helpful Labor Day weekend safety tips.

1. Road-trip, anyone?

If you’re planning a weekend excursion make sure you’re well rested, plan for frequent rest stops, and divide driving duties if possible. You should also have your car checked by a registered mechanic to avoid a break down on the road. Don’t forget to pack a vehicle emergency kit that contains items like a flashlight, jumper cables, a tool kit, tire gauge and flares.

Tips for Safe Travel

  • Carry an emergency supply kit in your trunk.
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
  • Buckle up and observe speed limits.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

 

2. Festive Fireworks

fireworks1They are fun, flashy and festive, but many of us overlook the injury fireworks can cause. The National Safety Council reports that children 10 to 14 years of age are at three times the risk of being injured by fireworks than the population as a whole. Even sparklers can inflict serious injury. If you choose to use fireworks be sure you only light one at a time, maintain the recommended distance from spectators, and never allow any horseplay while fireworks are being set up or ignited. If a firework malfunctions, don’t re-light it. Above all, never allow young children handle fireworks and never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

3. Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol and parties often go hand in hand, but beware that drinking impacts your decision making, coordination, reaction time and vision which makes you vulnerable to a number of hazards. If you plan on consuming alcohol, setting a limit on how much you will consume. And the time to set your limit is before you arrive at the neighborhood cookout. Once you set an alcohol limit, stick to it. Drink one glass of water in between alcoholic drinks to help keep hydrated and pace your alcohol consumption. If you drink more than you planned, ask for help getting home. And keep in mind that operating a motor vehicle after just a drink or two is dangerous.

4. Boating Safety

wakeboardingBoating is a quintessential Labor Day event. Make sure you keep it safe by ensuring the boat is in good mechanical condition, and carries all safety equipment including personal flotation devices, an emergency kit and a first aid kit. Keep away from restricted areas, be sure that you’re familiar with the rules of the water, and tell someone on land where you’re heading and what time you expect to return. For more boating safety tips, read “7 Tips for Avoiding Danger on a Boat.”

Tips for Safe Swimming

  • Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.
  • Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

5. Conquering Outdoor Chores

Lots of us look forward to relaxing on Labor Day weekend, but if you’re tackling outdoor chores instead, we hope you’ll keep these safety tips in mind. Before you use any power tool make sure the cord isn’t frayed, that it is free of cuts and appears to be in good condition. If you need an extension cord be sure it is designed for outdoor use. Additionally, be sure that the extension cord’s amperage can handle the demand of the power tool you’re using. Cleaning gutters, trimming trees and painting are just a few common outdoor chores that require a ladder, and ladders are notoriously dangerous. Only use a ladder when there’s someone else at home and if you’re using a metal ladder be careful that it does not come into contact with an electrical source.

6. Prevent Food-borne Illnesses

grilling
What’s a Labor Day holiday without lots of food? Picnics, barbeques, and neighborhood pot-lucks are plentiful and that means so is the chance of food-borne illness. To minimize the chance of cross-contamination, wash your hands before and after you touch raw meat. Dry your hands on paper towels instead of cloth towels, and discard immediately. Refrigerate meat that’s waiting to hit the grill. Never leave food that requires refrigeration (think potato salad, coleslaw or chicken salad) out in the sun. Instead, set the item the bowl is in on top of a pan filled with ice, and serve from a shaded area. Return the item to the refrigerator as soon as party-goers have been served.

Tips for Safe Grilling

  • Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

 

7. Hydration and sun protection

Soda and juice might be a bit tastier, but you should hydrate your body with water instead. If you’re having a party, set out a few tubs full of bottled water and encourage your guests to drink small amounts often. Remember the golden rule: If your urine is yellow, you’re not drinking enough water.

It’s the end of summer, but in many parts of the country the sun is still raging. Apply sunscreen before you head out in the sun and reapply as necessary. Remember that the elderly and the young have especially sensitive skin and don’t forget that some medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Whether you’re splashing in a pool, enjoying the ultimate picnic or knocking out those household chores, we want you to stay safe this Labor Day weekend. Remember: An accident is never planned. But keeping out safety tips in mind may help prevent one.

 

The American Red Cross First Aid App for smart phones and tablets provides users with expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores and at redcross.org/mobileapps.

The Team at TOCA wish you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate this Labor Day.

To learn more about TOCA, our Physician Team, or to schedule an appointment call our dedicated TOCA Team at: 602-277-6211!

 

If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in reading: 10 Common Summer Injuries, Arizona Hiking Tips, Protecting Yourself from Dehydration and Fishing Safety & Boating

#Injuryprevention #Recovery #Results #Relief #MyOrthoDoc #TOCA #TOCAMD #LaborDay

Protect you and your Children from Injury this Fourth of July Holiday!

Protect you and your Children from Injury this Fourth of July Holiday: Celebrating our Independence with a Boom has been a tradition for many families for years over the July 4th Holiday season. Unfortunately every year thousands of children and adults are needlessly injured by not following basic fireworks safety tips. With the proper respect fireworks deserve, everyone can safely enjoy the show.

Children are most frequently injured by fireworks. Most are under the age of 15. You may think firecrackers or other types of explosive or rocket variety fireworks are most responsible for their injuries. In fact, the biggest risk of injury comes from sparklers. Sparklers account for roughly 16% of all firework related injuries. If you consider children alone, sparklers account for about 1/3 of all injuries and over half of the injuries to children under 5.

In order to prevent children from being injured by sparklers, it is important to consider following some very simple safety tips.

1. Never let children handle, light or play with sparklers without adult supervision.
2. Don’t let your child handle or light more than one sparkler at a time.
3. Don’t pass of a lit sparkler to someone else, have them hold the unlit sparkler while you light it.
4. Don’t hold your child in your arms while you or the child is using sparklers.
5. Keep your distance: its recommended children stay at least 6 feet apart from one another while handling sparklers.
6. Instruct your child to hold the sparkler away from their body keeping them at arm’s length.
7. Avoid waving the sparklers wildly through the air as children frequently lose hold of the sparkler causing injury to themselves or others around them.
8. Wear proper clothing and footwear. Many injuries occur when an burnt out sparkler is dropped on the ground causing foot burns or puncture wounds from stepping on them.
9. Once the sparkler flame goes out, the metal rod should be dropped directly into a bucket of water. The extinguished sparkler and metal rod remain hot for a long time.
10. Keep your fireworks out of the reach of children. Lock them up. Kids are creative and can easily find a source of fire to ignite fireworks, i.e. a lit candle.

Above all, use common sense, pay attention to children, and if alcohol is involved in an adult party with children, designate someone to remain sober and responsible while any and all fireworks are in use. Hopefully these simple tips can help you and your family avoid an unwanted trip to the emergency department, or worse yet, a permanent and disfiguring injury.

The Hand Surgeons at TOCA, as well as the rest of the Physicians and Staff with you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate with pride, our Independence Day.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment call our dedicated TOCA Team at: 602-277-6211!

#Recovery #Results #Relief #4thofJuly #IndependanceDay #FireworkSaftey #InjuryPrevention #4thofJulyInjuryPrevention #TOCA #TOCAMD

Memorial Day Safety and Injury Prevention

This Memorial Day, at TOCA and around the Nation we honor those Americans who have put their lives on the line to bravely defend our country’s freedom. Each day and especially on Memorial Day we take a moment to remember the men and women who served and sacrificed their lives to protect our great Nation and hard-won freedom.

Memorial Day Safety and Injury Prevention: The first three-day holiday weekend of the summer and the unofficial “kickoff” to summer is upon us. We all have various activities scheduled for the weekend, which may include cookouts, picnics, boating, swimming, motor sports, work around the house, etc. No matter what you have planned, please make safety a part of your weekend.

DRIVING SAFETY: This weekend, 33 million Americans are expected to hit the roads, according to AAA, but more traffic means more traffic accidents.

  • Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road.
  • If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.
  • Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Use caution in work zones. There are lots of construction projects underway on the highways.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
  • Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive your headlights.
  • Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.
  • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.
  • Let someone know where you are going, your route and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

GRILLING SAFETY: Hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn on the cob; nothing says summer like grilling!

  • Ensure that the grill has been thoroughly cleaned. Dirty grills cause many injuries, particularly propane grills.
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while you grill
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

WATER SAFETY: The beginning of summer also means the start of pool or beach season for many in the U.S.

  • Do your part, be water smart! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
  • Appoint someone as lifeguard, rather than assuming one of your partygoers is keeping an eye on swimmers.
  • Adults: actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. And kids: follow the rules.
  • Don’t just pack it; wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision.
  • Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair – everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.
  • Reach or throw, don’t go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.
  • Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates.

Use Extra Caution with Fireworks: Nothing wraps up a great Memorial Day party better than a blazing fireworks display. Some towns and cities allow for select smaller fireworks to be enjoyed at home. If that’s the case, follow your local laws about what kind of fireworks are permitted.

  • Fireworks should be lit outside in an area without flammable branches or grass. Have a water hose or bucket of water handy to extinguish spent fireworks.
  • After you light a firework, get away to a safe distance. Don’t try to hold a firework in your hand after it’s lit, and do not light it into a container of any kind. Only responsible adults should light fireworks. Always ensure they are safely disposed of after the fun is over.

Stay Safe Under the Sun: There’s no better feeling than soaking in the new summer sun on Memorial Day — but don’t forget sunscreen and keep hydrated.

  • Skin can become severely burned after just a few hours in the sun, which can increase your risk of skin cancer in the long run.
  • Consider providing or looking for available shade, like umbrellas or covered picnic areas, to reduce sun exposure for yourself and your guests. A hat and sunglasses can offer extra coverage.
  • Don’t forget to reapply the sunscreen after two hours of sun exposure.
  • Drink plenty of water before, while, and after you are active. This is very important when it’s hot out and when you do intense exercise. You can drink water or rehydration drinks.
  • Encourage your child to drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as Popsicles.
  • Stop working outdoors or exercising if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or very tired.

Injury prevention is not only part of our mission here at TOCA, the TOCA team and physician group are dedicated to adult and youth safety. Our experts work with and in the community year-round and emphasize injury prevention over the summer and around holidays.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 #thankyouforyoursacrifice #injury prevention #holidaysafteytips #Recovery #Results #Relief #TOCA