UCSD Medical Center offers Halloween tips


The Emergency Department staff at UCSD Medical Center and the California Poison Control System are offering the following safety tips to help parents and guardians make Halloween safe.

Pumpkin Carving/Jack-O-Lanterns

  • Let children draw a face on pumpkins, but adults should do the carving.
  • Keep an eye on Jack-O-Lanterns with burning candles inside. Make sure they are placed where they can’t start a fire.


  • Feed children before they go trick-or-treating.
  • Look at all treats carefully to detect signs of tampering. Throw away unwrapped candy not in the original wrapper or candy that shows signs of rewrapping.
  • Parents with children of different ages should sort the candies to make sure that younger children don’t get a hold of small hard candies, peanuts or other objects that may get lodged in a youngster’s throat.
  • Remember that some treats, like chocolate, can be poisonous to pets.


  • Look for costumes that are flame resistant.
  • Choose costumes with light or bright colors, which can be seen by drivers.
  • Make sure face paints, glues and glitters are made of non-toxic materials.
  • If your child wears a mask, make sure it does not impair the child’s vision or breathing.
  • Use reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treating bags so they are visible.


  • Never let a child trick-or-treat alone. Adults should accompany young children in familiar neighborhoods, visiting known areas.
  • Carry a flashlight after dusk.
  • Make walkways and lawns safe by removing obstacles and leaving outside lights on.
  • Stay away from barking dogs or other upset animals.