27 October 2015 - Don't Let Dark Nights Spook You This Halloween The dark nights have set in and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is urging all parents to take some simple steps to ensure Halloween is a safe and spooky treat for children this year. Each year NWAS sees a rise in calls on Halloween or ‘Mischief Night’ – a lot of which are incidents that could be avoided if the public followed some useful safety advice. NWAS is urging parents to ensure they always accompany children when they are ‘trick or treating’, to make sure children carry a torch or glow stick and wear reflective clothing to make them visible to drivers. It is important children should learn how to cross the road properly as more accidents happen in the dark. The Trust is also advising that well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes should be worn to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls – which are regular calls on Halloween night. Face paints should be tested on a small area of skin first to check for irritation. Director of Operations at NWAS, Derek Cartwright, said: “Halloween is a really exciting time for children and young people. The dark nights at this time of year can however lead to accidents, so it’s important to make sure children are as safe and as visible as possible. “Emergency calls to the ambulance service soar at this time of year. We are urging parents to ensure their children are safe so they can enjoy the night and ambulances are free to attend life-threatening emergencies. “People should think before they dial 999 about whether they really need an ambulance. More appropriate treatment could be available at a minor injuries unit, walk-in-centre, GP or Pharmacy. We also have our helpline 111 to give you advice on issues that aren’t life-threatening.” Please also remember not to leave burning candles or pumpkin lanterns unattended or near flammable materials – all these simple steps could save lives.