The Western Health and Social Care Trust is reminding everyone young and old to stay safe this Halloween to avoid preventable attendances to our Emergency Departments.
Gavin O’Neill, Consultant in Emergency Medicine based at Altnagelvin Hospital commented: “Halloween is traditionally an extremely busy time of the year for all the emergency services and particularly for our Western Trust staff working in the Emergency Department.
“Myself and my colleagues in the Emergency Department hope that people will keep themselves safe this Halloween avoiding the need for hospital care.
“If people are using fireworks as part of the Halloween festivities I would hope that they can enjoy them safely. Although fireworks can be entertaining and exciting, particularly for the younger members of our community, they can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury if not handled properly. It is important to remind people of how dangerous sparklers can be and that they are extremely hot for some time after the sparkler has gone out and can cause serious burns.
“Many people will be coming to enjoy the traditional Halloween celebrations in their local towns and larger events in the city which can be great fun. It is important that people enjoying themselves at the festivities think how their behaviour impacts on other people.”
He continued: “While we understand that everyone wants to have fun, we would like to urge the general public to be extra safe and if they are consuming alcohol that they do so sensibly and know their limits.
“I would ask parents and adults to be extra vigilant and prevent underage alcohol or drug abuse to prevent any activities attributing to injury. This will all help to make the Halloween celebrations an enjoyable one for all involved. Drinking alcohol doesn’t need to be part of the night. For young people, drinking alcohol is harmful as your body is still developing. Binge drinking makes you ill and damages your health, increasing risk of accidents and assaults.
“Remember Halloween should be a time of excitement and fun for everyone and by behaving responsibly it can be.”