Editor’s Notes: This story was originally published on LiveWellNebraska.com
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By Katy Healey / World-Herald staff writer
Halloween is spooky for kids, but it can be scary for parents, too.
Last year, the Nebraska Regional Poison Center fielded nearly 500 calls from people whose children ingested the liquid in glow sticks, an increase from the previous year.
“They’re panicking and not sure what to do,” said Joan McVoy, a registered nurse at the poison center.
McVoy said parents should call the center at 1-800-222-1222 and speak to a registered nurse before going to the emergency room. Three in four people who call the center do not need emergency care, she said.
To avoid the problem altogether, do not give glow sticks to small children – they’re the ones most likely to chew on them. Warn older children to not put the glow sticks in their mouths.
Here’s a few more tips to keep your kids safe this Halloween:
1. Parents should inspect their children’s Halloween haul before any is eaten. Throw away anything homemade or not in its original wrapper, unless parents know with certainty who handed it out.
2. Remove masks before crossing the street.
3. Bring a flashlight if you’re trick-or-treating after dark. Consider using reflective tape on costumes.
4. Dry ice can create a spooky effect perfect for Halloween parties. Serving punch with dry ice is not dangerous, but do not swallow the ice in its solid form, so don’t put small pieces in individual glasses. Frostbite can occur if it touches the skin or mouth.
5. Watch out for Fido, too. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Make sure Halloween candy is out of their reach.
6. Speaking of pets, avoid homes with barking dogs outside.
7. Remove makeup and fluorescent hair sprays before going to bed.
Source: Nebraska Regional Poison Center, 1-800-222-1222.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1071, firstname.lastname@example.org; twitter.com/KatyHealey5
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