HSE encourages safety at Halloween



The HSE is calling on parents and young people to be extra vigilant in relation to safety during the Halloween period. Fireworks are effectively illegal in Ireland (with the exception of licensed displays); most of the illegal fireworks and bangers on sale in markets and from street traders throughout the country are sub-standard and liable to cause serious injury.

Bonfires are a big part of Halloween and often contain highly combustible materials that can cause respiratory problems and burns. Halloween and the preceding weekend are the busiest time of the year for the fire services and are extremely hectic for ambulance and hospital services.

Parents are also advised to ensure that their children are accompanied whilst visiting houses to seek Halloween treats. It is particularly important that children's fancy dress outfits to not contribute to accidents, long outfits can sometimes cause children to trip and fall. Masks should not obscure vision, reduce hearing or interfere with normal breathing.

Dr. Stephen Cusack, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Cork University Hospital said, "Illegal fireworks are manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious injury to people. I would appeal to parents to ensure their children do not play with fireworks. We have seen children in the past in our Emergency Department with tragic injuries which could so easily have been avoided. Bonfires are another cause for concern and I would urge parents to make sure that their children do not attend unsupervised bonfires. Nuts and boiled sweets may also cause obstruction and choking in small children and parents should check their child’s goodie bags. Indeed some children have serious nut allergies and care should be taken that they are not unintentually exposed."

Last updated on: 24 / 10 / 2008