October 24, 2016
Contact: Danny Chun: 630-276-5558
Have a Spooktacular Halloween with Safety Tips from the IPC
State’s only poison center offers tips for parents and families
Halloween is just around the corner, and in addition to ghosts and vampires, the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) is urging families to beware of accidental poisonings.
“Halloween means costumes, trick-or-treating and candy. However, parents and caregivers should know that every year around this time, the IPC manages hundreds of cases involving dry ice, glow sticks and more,” says Carol DesLauriers, PharmD, DABAT, Director, IPC. “It is important to take precautions to prevent potentially harmful exposures.”
Make sure Halloween is scary for the right reasons this year by following these safety tips from the IPC.
- Remind children not to chew on or break open glow sticks or any other glow-in-the-dark products;
- If a glow stick substance comes into contact with the skin or the mouth, wash it off immediately;
- If a glow stick substance gets into the eye or if more than mild skin/oral irritation occurs, call the IPC right away for treatment recommendations; and
- Keep alcohol away from children, and make sure opened containers and unfinished beverages stay out of reach.
- Make sure to wear protective clothing such as appropriate gloves when handling dry ice, as skin exposure can cause significant damage, as can ingestion;
- Since dry ice can cause burns, do not place any directly in a punch bowl or drinking cups;
- Call the IPC for help if a skin burn from dry ice is suspected;
- Do not use dry ice in an unventilated area, as carbon dioxide gas is produced. Be sure to store it in an insulated container, not in the freezer.
Costumes and cosmetics:
- Use face paint or makeup labelled as non-toxic, and avoid products that contain talc or hydrocarbons, which can be dangerous if accidentally ingested by young children;
- Test makeup on a small area of skin first, preferably the arm, to check for sensitivity to any ingredients before applying it to the face;
- Remove makeup before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation;
- Throw out any makeup that has expired or has a bad smell, as this could be a sign of bacterial contamination; and
- Do not use products on the face or body that aren’t intended for skin.
For more Halloween safety information from the IPC, click here.
IPC experts are available to provide information and treatment advice 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, including holidays. If you suspect that you or someone you know has been exposed to a potentially harmful substance, please call the IPC at 800-222-1222. The call is free and confidential. For more information, visit the IPC’s website: http://illinoispoisoncenter.org.
The Illinois Poison Center is a nonprofit health service that provides the people of Illinois with comprehensive and trusted information and treatment advice on potentially harmful substances via a free, confidential 24-hour helpline staffed by specially trained physicians, nurses and pharmacists.