Don’t let your Halloween party become a real haunted house


The most frightening part of Halloween might be the dangerous situations that can occur in preparation for the holiday. Whether it’s when carving jack-o’-lanterns, creating costumes, or having beverages, Halloween risks are all around. Here are some tips to stay safe:

Carve the pumpkin, not your hand
“Each Halloween, hand surgeons treat patients with cuts, or more severe injuries of the tendons, arteries, or nerves because of carving mishaps,” says the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Today, jack-o’-lantern kits are available in place of using a kitchen knife to slice your pumpkin. Injuries still are possible with any tool, so make sure you’re working in a clear, well-lit area and watching where you put your hands. Also, try using battery-operated candles to illuminate your pumpkin instead of open flames to avoid fire risk.

Dress up as a doctor, don’t visit one
Though you may win first place in the costume contest with an elaborate setup, make sure you’re not putting yourself in harm’s way. Loose and baggy material makes it easier to trip or get caught on objects, creating a falling hazard. Think about fire-retardant outfits and non-toxic makeup for your own safety.

Arrrr you sure you need more rum?
Halloween events typically draw large crowds and may welcome irresponsible adults. There’s no need to become Captain Morgan just because you’re in a pirate costume — if you’re consuming alcohol, be sure to drink in moderation and be smart. If you’re hosting the party, make sure your guests have a sober ride home. Halloween drunk driving statistics are scary:

    •   In 2010, 41 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a
        driver or a motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher.

    •   An estimated 41 million children will be out trick-or-treating this year, and they’re not always visible
        while crossing streets or walking along roads.

    •   Most people know their state’s blood-alcohol driving limit. But do you know how many drinks it
        takes for you to get there? Refer to a BAC calculator like this one: http://dui.drivinglaws.org/calc.php

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