October 23, 2008
Tips for a Safe Halloween
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To help make sure everyone has a safe Halloween this year, State Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold has some warnings for both adults and kids.
“Halloween can be a fun and exciting night, but it can also be dangerous. There are many safety issues you need to consider when choosing a costume, trick-or-treating, decorating and driving,” said Dr. Arnold.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), four times as many children age 5 to 14 years of age are killed on Halloween evening compared to any other night of the year because of falls, being hit by a vehicle or other accidents. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) also reports an average of seven deaths and $24.9 million in property damage each year in the United States as the result of home fires caused by Halloween decorations, the majority involving candles.
Halloween celebrations can also lead to serious injuries. Adults considering wearing colored contacts as part of their costume need to make sure they are fitted by a professional. Colored lenses purchased without proper examinations and fittings can cause corneal scratches, infections and potential blindness. Only eye care professionals licensed in Illinois are authorized to prescribe contact lenses and retailers are forbidden to sell lenses without a valid prescription. Stores selling lenses without a prescription can be served with a Cease and Desist orders and could also subject to civil penalties of $10,000.
“Stopping unlicensed practice is always a challenge, but conducting compliance audits at this time of year and imposing the maximum allowable fine for any violation will gain the attention of retailers who are breaking the law but find the profits hard to give up,” said Daniel E. Bluthardt, Director of the Division of Professional Regulation with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. “We will continue to invest resources into cutting off the supply of non-prescription cosmetic contact lenses and hope to see a reduction in the number of infections as a result.”
The following are tips for a safe Halloween.
PARENTS SHOULD ALSO…
CHILDREN SHOULD …
MOTORISTS SHOULD …
HOMEOWNERS SHOULD …
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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