Pediatrician, County Police offer ways to stay safe Halloween weekend

(WBTW) — Halloween may be looking more normal this year than it was last year. While it’s tempting to enjoy the day like ghosts and goblins, doctors and law enforcement are reminding everyone to keep health and safety in mind this Halloween weekend.

Doctors remind everyone that with autumn comes autumn diseases.

dr. Lucretia Carter, the pediatric medical director at Tidelands Health, says certain illnesses tend to be more seen around Halloween, when the weather cools down and kids go back to school. “We see increases in cases of RSV and sometimes the onset of flu, sometimes strep throat. Simply because the children are now at school and interacting a bit.”

dr. Carter says that if your child feels sick around Halloween and may be showing COVID-19 symptoms, they should be tested.

“We want to make sure they don’t endanger other people,” says Dr. Carter, “but also checking for other things. They could certainly have a lot of other diseases, but you want to make sure they’re healthy so they don’t endanger themselves and other people.”

One thing you can do to make sure you don’t endanger people is something Dr. Carter says you might already be on Halloween night — wear a mask with your costume.

“The great thing about Halloween is that it’s one of the holidays that you can dress up and wear a mask without looking different,” says Dr. Carter. When you wear the mask may depend on where you celebrate the spooky day.

“When we’re outside doing the traditional trick or treating it’s a great time because we don’t have to worry so much about wearing our masks because we know the transmission of COVID-19 is much less in well-ventilated areas. outdoor spaces. Dr. Carter says. “If you’re trying to do an activity indoors and you can’t avoid close contact with others, that’s one situation where you want to make sure you’re wearing a mask.”

dr. Carter says children two years and older should be masked in those situations. Anything else to think about? Vaccination status.

“This is a tough time when you don’t necessarily know who should or shouldn’t be vaccinated,” says Dr. caterer. “…if you absolutely qualify to get the vaccine, make sure you’re vaccinated, and if you’re not, make sure you wear your mask.”

She stressed the importance of not forgetting to take those COVID-19 precautions. “We can only prevent the spread of the disease if we do everything we can to help prevent that spread,” emphasized Dr. Carter. “So we can’t control other people, but we can control what we do and what we do in the public space.”

We all know that a big part of the Halloween party is the candy. Both Dr. Carter as the Horry County Police Department want you to be safe with the sweet treats. First, if your kids go out trick-or-treating without an adult, the Horry County Police Department encourages them to stay in a group.

dr. Carter says if you’re trick-or-treating and a large group is on the doorstep in front of you, wait for them to walk away before going upstairs to get your candy.

dr. Carter also says, “You want to go for it and let your kids participate in the candies that are individually wrapped and not something grabbed by a bunch of different people.”

She also says that parents and guardians should inspect the candy your child takes home, something that the Horry County Police Department has echoed.

“Just make sure the parents bring candy for your kids and make sure it’s legit candies and not tampered with,” said Corporal Chris Nguyen, a community officer with the Horry County Police Department.

If you find candy in your child’s luggage that is suspicious or unsafe, LCpl. Nguyen says you can reach all non-emerging phone lines at 843-248-1520. Tell the emergency room what’s going on and they’ll send an officer over to get the candy. Also try to remember which route you take while trick-or-treating so agents can figure out where the candy is coming from.

If you are an adult planning to celebrate Halloween, LCpl. Nguyen reminds you to be smart.

“It’s great to go out and have fun,” says LCpl. Nguyen. “I know people want to drink. If you see yourself drinking, don’t get behind the wheel. Call an Uber or a Lyft; stay where you are. It’s never a good day to drink and drive. There are children out there, on the road, walking. If you are disabled, you can hit a child or an adult.”

Another thing the Horry County Police Department wants you to reconsider is all the pranks you’ve planned.

“We see a lot of 911 calls hanging up, a lot of people knocking on doors and running,” says LCpl. Nguyen. “We also see people throwing things at cars or houses, whether it’s eggs or toilet paper.”

Police say what you consider friendly fun can turn into something dangerous or criminal.

LCpl. Nguyen explained. “Let’s say you’re throwing eggs home. You can damage someone’s paint, put a dent in the house or break a window. Then you can be charged for malicious damage. That’s a felony charge…[meaning] court fines and possible jail time.”

You may see more police officers around this Halloween weekend, in neighborhoods around the county.

“Some may have their lights on, so you can see them very easily. So if you need help, they are there”, LCpl. says Nguyen. “And if you see a cop nearby, stop by and say hello to them. Maybe they have some candy in the car for the kids to hand out to them.”

The Horry County Police Department also reminds you to pay close attention to what’s going on around you. Make yourself visible to others, by wearing something light or having a flashlight or glow sticks with you.

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