3 fall activities ER doctors don’t let their kids do

Their tips come from years of seeing injuries

Fall brings with it beautiful foliage, seasonal candles and specialty coffees. The season also calls for plenty of fall activities, from school functions to trick-or-treating.

With events quickly filling your on the schedule, it’s important to stay safe. With that in mind, TODAY asked several ER pediatric doctors about the activities that most often land kids in the hospital.

Here are three activities the ER doctors won’t let their own kids do:

Unsupervised pumpkin carving

According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, from 2012 to 2021, there were 20,579 pumpkin-related knife injuries in the U.S. Instead of pumpkin carving with real knives, experts suggest trying a pumpkin kit.

“There are many kits available that come with tiny saws that work better than knives and are safer, although you can be cut by them as well. It’s best to let the kids clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it, which you can carve for them,” advised the Alberta Tribune.

Trick-or-treating without supervision

“Remind kids not run out in the street from between cars or cut across driveways because these are areas where drivers may not expect to see child,” Dr. Lisa Gaw, a pediatrician with Texas Children’s Urgent Care, told TODAY.

And while costumes are meant to be fun, you want to ensure they’re also functional. If your child haas trouble walking or seeing in their costume, you might want to reconsider.

Playing near fire

With fall’s colder temperatures, it not unusual to have a backyard bonfires — even if it’s just in a spall fire pit. Whether you’re making
s’mores or telling ghost stories, fires can dangerous.

“Ensure that there’s a known perimeter around where the fire is going to be and that it’s not near anything else that could catch fire,” advised Dr. Sage Myers, an emergency medicine physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Children should always stay at least 3 feet away from the fire, per the U.S. Fire Administration.

And be sure to teach your kids about fire safety.

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