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Poison Safety Reminders for Halloween Night

Boy having his face painted.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Halloween is fast approaching! If you plan to trick-or-treat or attend a party on Halloween night, the Upstate New York Poison Center reminds you to watch out for these potential poisonings and don’t forget to save our number, we are open 24/7: 1-800-222-1222!

“Our number one call on Halloween night 2021 for children 5 and younger was for concerns over glow sticks,” says Christine Stork, clinical director of the Upstate New York Poison Center. “Other poison-related calls that night were for pain medicines and cosmetic products (mainly make-up & nail polish). Remind kids not to bite a glow stick or take any medication that is not prescribed to them.”

  1. Check the label on all Halloween makeup.
  • POISON SAFETY: Do not use old or expired makeup, especially if it is from last Halloween. Pay attention to any odors coming from the makeup.

  • RISK: Most makeup is considered non-toxic but may cause irritation or an allergic reaction to a child’s skin. Test face paint on a small portion of skin first to be sure it is safe for use on faces, especially for children. Always avoid eye area.
  1. Make sure flashing jewelry with batteries used for costumes are not exposed.
  • POISON SAFETY: This jewelry can contain tiny disc batteries. Make sure the battery compartment is secured shut. Use strong tape if necessary. Only buy jewelry that requires a screwdriver or tool to open the battery compartment. Don't insert or change batteries in front of children, they may see it as a toy.

  • RISK: If swallowed, call 911 and go to an emergency room immediately. Button batteries can cause significant injury when ingested.
  1. Be careful with glow sticks.
  • POISON SAFETY: While generally non-toxic, it is best to not chew or break open a glow stick.

  • RISK: The exposed liquid may cause stinging or a burning sensation. Occasionally blisters can occur. Remember to wash out the mouth or eye with water for 15 minutes immediately after exposure. Most exposures do not result in significant injury.
  1. Keep all chocolate away from dogs.
  • POISON SAFETY: Chocolate can be highly toxic to dogs and make them very sick. The darker the chocolate the more dangerous.

  • RISK: Ingestion of even a small amount can cause mild vomiting and diarrhea. We can help guide you to the Pet Poison Helpline, if needed!

In the case of a poisoning or for information purposes, call the Upstate New York Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. We are open 24/7, 365 days a year. Each year our center manages more than 50,000 calls from health care providers, 911 operators, hospitals, industry, schools, and the general public in our 54-county service area.

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About Upstate New York Poison Center

Housed inside Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, the Upstate New York Poison Center is dedicated to reducing the number, cost and severity of poisonings within its designated 54-county service area as mandated by New York State Law. The Center is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to both health professionals and the general public at 1-800-222-1222.

About Upstate Medical University

SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, is the only academic medical center in Central New York. It is also the region's largest employer with 9,460 employees. Affiliated with the State University of New York, Upstate's mission is to improve the health of the community through education, biomedical research and health care.