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There are some people who are really scared on Halloween - here's why

A number of groups are reminding the public to keep an eye out for older people and animals today.

Image: Pedro Ferreira via Flickr/Creative Commons

WITH ALL HALLOWS Eve upon us, many will spend the evening handing out sweets to children dressed as superheroes or Disney characters.

There are, however, those who will be generally afraid – and the public is being asked to be mindful of them.

Older People

Age Action, a charity which promotes better policies and services for older people, says that this time of year can be a stress.

“What seems like harmless fun for some can cause terrible distress to older people who may be frail, nervous or living alone,” says Gerard Scully of Age Action.

“So please be mindful of your older neighbours when setting off bangers and fireworks or minding younger children as they go about ‘trick or treating’.

“Older people are not being mean if they don’t open their doors, they may just be too afraid to. So if you see children or older teenagers approaching the homes of older neighbours, who you know would not be able to cope, tell them not to.

Halloween is not fun for everyone but if we respect our frailer neighbours then at least those who want to can enjoy the night without causing hurt, harm or damage to others.

Animals

Irish Guide Dogs say that the impact of fireworks on their dogs can end their careers.

“Exposure to fireworks can actually force working dogs into early retirement, ending their working life,” said Aileen Foy, Irish Guide Dogs Assistance Dogs Instructor. “They can also put the owner into a potentially dangerous situation, as Guide Dogs who have been startled by fireworks may not be able to guide them safely.

To lose your Guide Dog to something as avoidable as fireworks can have a life-changing impact on the owners. It robs them, not only of their independence and mobility, but of their best friend as well.

To help increase some awareness of the dangers Irish Guide Dogs has produced a video highlighting the consequences of fireworks on working dogs.


(Guidedogs01/YouTube)

Emergency Services

Last year, Dublin Fire Brigade alone responded to 639 callouts between 4pm on Halloween and 8am the next morning.

In 2012, Vhi Swiftcare clinics treated nearly 150 patients on Halloween evening alone, a 20 per cent increase on the night before.

Of those, 50 per cent were under 18.

Dr Brian Gaffney, Medical Director, Vhi SwiftCare Clinics said “Halloween should be a fun evening but unfortunately for many children and their parents it can quickly turn into their own personal horror story. We are calling on parents to take a number of straight-forward precautions with a view to minimising bumps and bruises and reducing the number of injuries we treat this Halloween.”

Dr Kathyrn McCreery, Eye Surgeon at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, said she sees many eye injuries happen in children on Halloween that could have been avoided had safety measures or other simple precautionary measures been taken.

The most common accidents I see include corneal abrasions and bleeding in the eye, caused by children being struck in the eye with sharp Halloween accessories such as swords, knives or wands and eye injuries as a result of poor supervision of fireworks and around bonfires.

Read: Bobbing for apples, the silent danger this Halloween

WATCH: The Rubberbandits talk about Halloween

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