Tahlequah Daily Press

Online Exclusives

October 25, 2013

Tips for having a safe Halloween

TAHLEQUAH — From many families, Halloween has become a major holiday with elaborate decorations and creative costumes. Unfortunately, the excitement of the day can pose health risks, especially for children.

The top cause of injuries on Halloween night is accidental falls from tripping over costume hems, steps, curbs, or other unseen obstacles. Children get so excited on Halloween that they lose their safety sense.

Distractions abound, and when you can combine them with children’s short stature, inability to assess danger and react quickly enough, lack of skills in evaluating traffic and lack on impulse control, the results can be deadly.

Four times as many children are killed in auto-pedestrian accidents on Halloween night as those killed on any other night of the year.

In addition to the dangers posed by traffic, trips and falls, other Halloween traditions carry their own risks.

Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat a number of hand injuries among children and adults carving jack-o’-lanterns. And, those same jack-o’-lanterns pose a fire and burn danger when lit with candle and placed where eager trick-or-treaters can tip them over or catch the edge of their costume in the flame.

Dr. Rotton provided these tips to make your Halloween celebrations safer:

• Skip the masks and use non-toxic face paint.

• Be careful where you place any lit jack-o’-lanterns. Don’t put them in drafts or where papers, curtains or other flammable objects are nearby. Avoid placement where trick or treaters will be congregating.

• Choose flame-resistant costumes. To increase night-time visibility, choose costumes in light colors or add reflective tape to costumes and treat bags.

• Feed children before the go trick-or-treating, and make sure they know not to eat and candy until you have had a chance to inspect it. All candy should be wrapped. Check for signs of tampering such as small pinholes, and discard any questionable treats.

• Hard candies can pose a choking hazard to children who may trip or who are distracted. Don’t let children pop a sucker in their mouths and take off running down the street.

• If you want to cut down on sugary snacks or eliminate any possible risk of tampering, consider giving out decorative pencils, stickers, shoelaces or other treats.

• Any costume accessories such as knives, swords, wands and so forth should be made out of cardboard or flexible materials.

• For trick-or-treating, skip the fancy footwear or oversized shoes and wear well-fitting shoes to minimize the risk of trips and falls.

• All of the activity can stress out the family pet and normally friendly dogs can become cautious or fearful around the large number of strangers. Instruct your children not to pet even familiar dogs. At home it may be appropriate to keep the family pet away from the front door activity.

• Trick-or-treaters should carry a flashlight if they will be out after dark. Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Older children may be allowed to visit neighborhood homes with their friends, but you should make sure you know their companions and that a curfew has been set.

• Review basic traffic safety with children of all ages. Make sure they cross streets at corners and after carefully checking for traffic. Visit only homes where exterior lights are on, and never go inside the home of someone you don’t know.

• If you’re going to drive your children from home to home, have them use the curb-side doors to leave and enter the car.

• As an adult, if you will be driving on Halloween night, pay extra attention to children who may dart into the street. If you’re staying home to hand out treats, check your yard, porch, sidewalks for obstacles, and make sure your porch light is working.

• Consider a Halloween party or fall festival for the kids and skip the trick-or-treating altogether.

Dr. Brent Rotton, D.O., is chief of staff at Tahlequah City Hospital


Text Only
Online Exclusives
  • List of Trail of Tears Art Show grand-prize winners since 1972

    The following is a list of Trail of Tears Art Show grand-prize winners since the show’s inception in 1972

    April 15, 2014

  • Summer films

    Studios may no longer confine the releases of “blockbuster” films to summer, but there are still dozens of big-budget films set to open during the summer.

    April 9, 2014

  • Warning signs of child abuse and neglect

    The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child. Child abuse is not always obvious. By learning some of the common warning signs of child abuse and neglect, you can catch the problem as early as possible and get both the child and the abuser the help that they need.
    Of course, just because you see a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused. It’s important to dig deeper, looking for a pattern of abusive behavior and warning signs, if you notice something off.

    April 8, 2014

  • Most readers favor STD education for children

    When it comes to teaching children about sexually transmitted diseases, parents may understandably have mixed feelings. Perhaps they believe they bear foremost responsibility, but public education can include the research and input of medical professionals.

    April 5, 2014

  • Soil temperatures and planting

    According to Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Educator Roger Williams, soil temperature is key to growing a successful vegetable garden.
    Each spring, the warm air temperature puts most gardeners in the mood to plant. The best way to determine the time to plant vegetables in your garden is soil temperature.

    April 4, 2014

  • Tahlequah Farmers Market 2014 vendors

    Tahlequah Farmers Market 2014 vendors

    April 3, 2014

  • History Day Winners

    Northeastern State University hosted the District 8 Oklahoma History Day regional competition on Tuesday, April 1. Listed are winners who advance to the state competition on May 7-8 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.

    April 2, 2014

  • Cherokee Cruisin’ Classic Car Club

    A group of classic car enthusiasts in Tahlequah goes by the moniker Cherokee Cruisin’ Classic Car Club. The group, 5Cs, is a regular part of the Red Fern Festival, held the last Saturday in April – and it will mark their next car show.

    March 28, 2014

  • State A-F Assessments

    Now entering their third year, Oklahoma’s A-F method of assessing the performance of public schools has been met with little enthusiasm by educators.
    The state bases its grades on the performance of students third through eighth grades on standardized tests. High schools are graded on End of Instruction exams.

    March 27, 2014

  • Cherokee County Student Art Show winners

    Madilyn Hatfield, who attends fifth grade at Tahlequah Middle School, won Best of Show at the Cherokee County Student Art Show. However, medals and prizes were awarded for first, second and third places, and honorable mention in seven age divisions.

    March 26, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video