News Release

October 19, 2006

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Halloween Primer for Parents

Connecticut Poison Control Tips to Keep Your Goblins Safe

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Halloween is just around the corner with its mystical potions, bubbling brews, and costumed youngsters looking for treats. Experts at the Connecticut Poison Control Center at UConn Health Center have tips for parents and those in charge of getting kids ready for the big night.

  • Make-up and Hair – Commercially available Halloween make-up kits are the best choice.  Substitutes like shoe polish, inks and felt tipped markers may contain solvents or dyes that may irritate skin and could be harmful if ingested. Eyelash adhesive is the only glue safe for facial use. Avoid using glitter on the face, especially near the eyes, where it can make the eyes vulnerable to scratches. 
  • Ornaments and Decorations – Most colors used in paper and cardboard construction materials and watercolors for decorating glass windows are non-toxic. Use paper liquid glues and glue sticks and stay away from adhesives such as model cement, epoxy and super-glues that contain resins and solvents that may be irritating to the eyes, skin and internal organs if swallowed. 
  • Accessories – Be sure kids don’t bite or chew, and accidentally swallow, batteries found in dry cell flashlights, pen-lights or toys. These batteries contain carbon-zinc, alkaline chemicals or mercury and can cause chemical burns or internal complications. “Glow lights” in self contained phosphorescent packets, sticks or jewelry are composed of safer materials and a better choice. 
  • Dry ice – It’s okay in a punch bowl for “witch’s brew” and on the ground for “fog effect.”  But, be careful that it doesn’t end up in anyone’s glass, or that it comes in contact with the skin where it can cause frostbite “burns” and skin injury. 

“Kids love Halloween – it’s the second most popular annual holiday. We urge parents to accompany their children, check their treats, and stay local,” says Bernard Sangalli, Connecticut Poison Control Center administrative director.

“The poison center is a 24-7 operation,” says Kathy Broderick, certified poison information specialist. “If you suspect a poisoning, don’t hesitate. Call us. We’re here to help.”

To reach the Connecticut Poison Control Center, call 1-800-222-1222.

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