Your child's Halloween costume has been bought and they can't wait to go trick-or-treating. Even though your ghost, princess, vampire, fairy, or super hero looks adorable, are they safe from injuries or accidents on Halloween night?
Halloween-related accidents usually occur when a costume comes in contact with an open flame from a candle that is used to light a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern. Halloween-related injuries are also caused by falls due to tripping over debris on steps or sidewalks. One of the most tragic types of accidents during Halloween is those that involve pedestrians being hit by a car.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ranks Halloween as one of the top 5 days within a year when there are the most fires caused by candles. Halloween costumes purchased at Halloween costume stores or other retail stores must meet the federal Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) and be flame-resistant to prevent costume-related burns. If you are making your child's costume at home, you should consider using fabrics that are flame-resistant such as polyester and nylon. If your child's costume requires a wig, choose one that is made of nylon or polyester instead of other materials or real hair you would find at a wig store. Make sure that any scarves or belts are not loose or free-flowing where the ends could catch on fire from a lit candle. If you put pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns out for decoration, consider using flameless candles or flashlights to illuminate them.
Fire and burns are not the only injuries that occur on Halloween night. Many costumes have masks that can reduce a child's ability to see tree branches on the ground, outdoor lawn or sidewalk decorations, or other obstacles on sidewalks and steps. The combination of reduced visibility, darkness, and a costume leaves a child very prone to falling and getting injured. Each year, numerous children suffer from broken bones, lacerations, or head injuries due to falls on Halloween night. If you are a homeowner, please make sure that your property is clear from trash or decorations that could cause a child to trip or fall.
Another dangerous hazard on Halloween night is children being struck by distracted drivers or motorists who cannot see them. Excited children running, dark colored costumes, and city streets all leave trick-or-treaters prone to being struck by a car. If you are driving on Halloween night, reduce your speed and pay very close attention while operating your vehicle. You must anticipate that at any moment, an excited child may dart out in between parked cars and you must be prepared to stop your car right away. To make children more visible at night, attach reflectors to their costumes or have them carry or wear glow sticks.
Here at the Beasley Firm, we hope that all of your little trick-or-treaters have a very safe and enjoyable Halloween evening. Please take the time to minimize the chances of a child being injured when they should be having fun.