Happy Halloween! Trick, Treats, and how to avoid hazards this season
Here comes October the 31st…its Halloween again!
Halloween is always a time for scary fun, trick or treating, apple bobbing parties, fancy dress and much more. I love this time of year. The sound of children’s laughter and bustling activity during the night contrasts sharply with the crispness in the autumn air. Even as a grown up, I must confess I still love Halloween. The shops are full of masks and costumes and there is an increasing variety of “Halloween goodies” in stores. But ghouls and ghosts are not the only thing we should watch out for at Halloween. There are other dangers lurking in the dark. At times like this, accidents can occur, and these accidents can result in personal injury.
As an experienced expert in the field of personal injury, I find myself coming across more and more clients who have suffered injuries during Halloween festivities.
I’ve found that the types of accidents which occur tend to vary from relatively minor scratches or sprains to the more serious ones such as burns and road traffic accidents. We recommend that everyone, especially parents, watch out for the many (often hidden) hazards that can cause personal injury.
One of the main reasons why accidents occur is the increasing trend for younger children to follow their siblings or older friends onto the streets for trick or treating. Children are always most vulnerable at this time.
Read my simple Halloween safety tips below which will help you and your family stay clear of danger.
Be safe and be seen
As an expert in personal injury claims, I urge you to make sure your children are properly equipped before they go out for the evening. It’s a good idea to provide your children with a safe lantern (not with candles!) or a flashlight. We also recommend that you ensure that they are dressed in bright and reflective clothing as opposed to dark colours or in black. Accidents can occur when children do not carry good visible lanterns or flashlights, especially on the roads. A combination of excited children and dark roads could mean that children are less alert and less visible on the roads so carrying good lighting and wearing protective reflective clothing will minimize the risk of injury.
Masks, clothings, footwear and general safety
Whilst I may be stating the obvious here, I have found that an inordinate number of slips, trips and falls occur as a result of ill fitting costumes and poor visibility caused by improperly fitted Halloween face masks. We all know children love to wear scary masks (my little nieces and nephews will be dressed up as the ‘minions’ from the movie ‘Despicable Me’) but please make sure that the masks and costumes fit properly. Check that your child can breathe easily under the mask, see clearly through it and that it sits comfortably on them without leaving scars and marks around the face, neck and ears. Children have sensitive skin and often their skin will react to items such as plastics and rubber. Some fabrics are prone to causing personal injury and conditions such as irritable skin, itching and more seriously burns can be the cause of post Halloween blues for some youngsters. We also recommend avoiding costume hooks or fasteners that are jagged or protruding decorations on masks and clothing. Always ask yourself the question: “Does this look and feel safe?” Always remember, safety comes first.
Supervision at all times
We recommend that the safest way for children to enjoy Halloween is to go out in a group supervised by one or two adults or more, depending on the size of the group. Safety in numbers is the key to avoiding accidents. Keep an eye on where everybody is in the group and which houses they are visiting. Are there any hazards on the street where potential trips or falls can happen? It is not recommended that trick or treating takes place in dark, unknown or poorly lit areas. Many schools now recognise the significance and importance of safety and supervision. Some of them organise trick or treating trips or visits to Pumpkin farms to ensure that children learn from their Halloween experience, are well supervised and have fun, in order to avoid danger or personal injury.
At home, make sure you never leave a child alone around candles in the home, outside or in pumpkins for example. Never leave a child unsupervised when carving out pumpkins. Sharp tools can lead to cuts and gouging injuries so be aware that curiosity can lead a child to “have a go at making a pumpkin for themselves” for themselves. Never leave sharp knives or tools lying around.
We hope you have a (s)care full and care free Halloween. Remember to be safe at all times.
Saracens Personal Injury dept.