Halloween is known to be a time for fun and mischief but for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) it’s particularly eerie as they often see a surge in 999 calls.

Last year, the Trust saw a 13% increase in calls on Halloween or ‘Mischief Night’ compared to the same time the week before, attending numerous spooky incidents including a patient choking on a set of plastic vampire fangs!

In order to avoid any gruesome injuries, NWAS is urging parents to use the following safety advice whilst enjoying the celebration:

  • Ensure fancy dress costumes and masks are well-fitted ensuring children can see and walk comfortably
  •  Be mindful that many fancy dress costumes can be extremely flammable so keep children wearing them well away from naked flames, paying particular attention to any capes or loose fabric
  • Accompany children whilst out ‘trick or treating’ and use lights to stay visible – glow sticks are a great idea!
  • Wrap up warm for the cold weather and be mindful and respectful of neighbours

NWAS’ Interim Deputy Director of Operations, Dave Kitchin, said: “Halloween is a great time of year for ghostly fun but we know only too well how quickly it can turn into a real fright which is why it’s so important to follow our simple safety advice to avoid any nasty accidents.

“It’s also important to remember to that 999 is for life-threatening or potentially life-threatening emergencies only and to be aware of the other options available to get healthcare for less serious incidents such as a minor injuries unit, walk-in- centre, GP, pharmacy or our NHS 111 Service.”

Last year, the Trust received numerous unnecessary 999 calls over the Halloween weekend including vomiting after a night out, a sore throat, pulled muscle and contact lens stuck in the eye.

As Halloween has become a popular time of year amongst party-goers, NWAS is also encouraging adults to stay safe on nights out by drinking alcohol in moderation, having plenty of water, staying with friends and planning their journey home in advance.