Halloween Candy Safety Tips

Source: RLS Media

Although Halloween is a time filled with exciting and fun activities, it’s a busy time for everyone, including the The New Jersey Poison Control Center (NJPIES) at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

“Halloween-related mishaps and accidents involving potential poisons go beyond the fear of contaminated candy,” says Diane Calello, NJPIES executive and medical director. “Our medical professionals get calls throughout the night about many things — from glow sticks to face paint; allergic reactions to food poisoning; belly aches to marijuana edibles; and chemical burns to alcohol poisoning.”

NJPIES has reported two cases of toddlers confusing marijuana edibles with gummy candies or chocolates and needing emergency medical care. With Halloween candy and edibles around homes, a child can accidentally finds and eats one, thinking it is candy meant for trick-or-treating. Keeping edibles locked up, out of sight and reach of children and pets will prevent accidental exposure to edibles.

If planning a party, make sure children don’t get into alcoholic beverages. The amount of alcohol in beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails/punches affects children differently than adults. Even swallowing a small amount of alcohol can cause serious health effects and death.

In addition:

– Avoid homemade treats when trick-or-treating.
– Teach kids that medicine is not candy. Lock up medicines to prevent accidental poisoning.
– Look out for potentially dangerous products that look like candy.
– Use non-toxic makeup to paint faces and body parts. Test on a small area of skin to be sure it will not cause an allergic reaction.
– Dry ice can cause severe burns and frostbite if it touches the skin or is swallowed. Use gloves to protect your skin.

Pets are not only at risk of alcohol poisoning, but they’re also at risk of poisoning from candies, chocolates, and other Halloween-related items. Chocolate, cocoa, candy, and anything sugarless can be poisonous to pets. Artificial sweeteners like xylitol can cause severe illness if pets eat products containing this ingredient.

When a mishap occurs involving a potentially dangerous product or substance, calling the New Jersey Poison Control Center Help Line is always the fastest way to get the medical help or information you need to prevent further injury. Poison control centers are medical resources for both the public and healthcare providers.

If you think someone came in contact with something dangerous, contact the NJ Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. They are also available online at njPIES.org.

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