Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tips on keeping your children safe this Halloween

Discuss trick-or-treating safety with your children prior to Halloween.
Photo by MetroCreativeConnection

WASHINGTON — The risk of a child being hit by a car is roughly four times higher on Halloween than on any other night of the year. That’s when more than 40 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 hit the trick-or-treat trails. The nation’s emergency physicians have some advice to help parents prevent their child, from ending up in the emergency department, because of an injury that could have been easily prevented.
“Halloween is a special night that should be shared with family and friends,” said Dr. Michael Gerardi, president-elect of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “You don’t want to remember it as the time you were in the ER for an injury that could have been avoided.”
Emergency physicians recommend that children “trick-or-treat” at organized Halloween festivities, such as local churches, shopping malls or schools. That way children are not walking in the dark, and it allows constant adult supervision.
In addition, ACEP suggests that adults following tips for a safe and fun Halloween:

  • Make sure your child stays on the sidewalks as much as possible (off streets) and obeys all traffic signals.
  • Discuss the importance of staying together in a group. Require at least one adult to serve as chaperone during trick-or-treat gatherings.
  • Make sure your child knows the potential dangers from strangers. Make sure they know never to accept rides from strangers or visit unfamiliar homes or areas.
  • Avoid costumes that could cause children to trip, such as baggy pants, long hems, high heels and oversized shoes.
  • Avoid costumes that obstruct your child’s sight or vision.
  • Avoid masks if possible. If your child must wear one, make sure it is well ventilated.
  • Make sure costume fabric, wigs and beards areas made of flame-resistant materials, such as nylon or polyester.
  • Keep candlelit Jack-O-Lanterns away from children so they can’t get burned or set on fire.
  • Make sure costumes are visible at night: avoid dark colors. Add reflective tape to costumes so your child is more visible to motor vehicles.
  • Make sure you see all the candy before your child eats it. Avoid candy not wrapped in its original wrapper, as well as all fruit.
  • Take a flashlight while trick-or-treating as visibility decreases long before it gets really dark.
  • Check accessories such as swords, knives, wands and other pointed objects. Make sure they are made from flexible materials and have dulled edges.

For more information on this and other health-related topics, go to

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The latest on the 6th District congressional race

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Supreme Court verdict on DOMA

Read the full text of the decision that declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mines in Pa.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection now has an online mine map, showing where underground mines are located.

Over a period of more than 10 years, DEP has identified and scanned in excess of 15,000 hard copy mine maps. To date, approximately half of those scanned maps have been geographically located on the earth’s surface using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, a process known as “georeferencing”.

Maps are continuously being scanned into high-resolution images, georeferenced and added to the atlas; more than 40,000 have yet to be scanned.

 The atlas features enhanced search tools and views and allows users to download and print maps. Another important feature of the Pennsylvania Mine Map Atlas is its ability to measure the distance from a mine to a specific structure. This function will help identify homes and other structures at risk for mine subsidence -- ground movement caused by the collapse of old, abandoned mines. If the atlas shows that a home sits on or in close proximity to an undermined area, Mine Subsidence Insurance (MSI) is recommended. MSI protects property owners from damage caused by mine subsidence, which is typically excluded from home owners’ insurance policies.

 The map atlas can be found at


Thursday, May 16, 2013

2013 Election Story Round Up

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on Dr. Kermit Gosnell

Below is the grand jury report from the First Judicial District of Philadelphia on the practices of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in his West Philadelphia abortion clinic. Gosnell was put on trial following the release of the report and convicted of first-degree murder in the death of three viable babies born at the clinic as well as manslaughter for the death of a clinic patient.
For more on the conviction, click here.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

How much do treatment costs vary between local hospitals

The federal government released a report Wednesday, May 8, showing that costs for the same treatments varied widely between different hospitals in the same state and even the same city.
Below is the cost data collected on hospitals in Pennsylvania, among them Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, Phoenixville Hospital and Reading Hospital and Medical Center. You can search for hospitals by facility name or search the type of treatment. Not all operations or treatments available at area hospitals were looked at and will not be on the list.

Labels: , , , , ,