As we prepare to celebrate Halloween during our “new normal’, we must not forget that COVID-19 cases continue to increase across New Jersey. It’s important to plan safer ways to celebrate Halloween activities this year.
Wear a cloth or disposable face mask that covers your mouth and nose while participating in activities. Costume masks must not replace face masks. Avoiding gatherings/crowds, close contact with others that are not part of your household (do not live with), and activities in closed spaces (indoor) will help lessen the spread of COVID-19 as well as influenza (seasonal flu).
Be aware that Halloween candy can poison your pet. Keep chocolate, cocoa, candy and anything sugarless out of their sight and reach. If any of these items are swallowed, get help fast. These products can be toxic causing vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or even death depending on the item and the amount that was swallowed.
Teens and young adults often overindulge without realizing they have consumed too much alcohol. A person who appears to be very drunk or has passed out may be showing early signs of alcohol poisoning and be in real danger. Immediate medical help is essential. “Sleeping it off” is never a safe option. It’s important to know the critical signs of alcohol poisoning.
“Halloween is a busy time of year for the healthcare professionals at your local poison control center,” says Diane Calello, MD, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Department of Emergency Medicine. “Potential poisoning risks go beyond the fear of tampered candy. Our staff gets calls throughout the night about many things – from glow sticks to allergic reactions to belly aches to marijuana edibles to chemical burns to alcohol poisoning.”
Most important, remember that help is just a phone call away. Parents often call 911 or spend hours in the emergency room when they could have simply called their local poison control center for immediate medical treatment, advice, and help. Calling your poison control center, 1-800-222-1222, is always the fastest way to get the medical help or information you need to prevent further injury.
Source: New Jersey Poison Control Center (njPIES.org)