Halloween -- a favorite celebration for many, if not most, kids -- is just around the corner. But with the excitement of Beggar's Night comes the scary prospect of potential injuries caused by candy, costumes, and even car-pedestrian accidents.
If you and your child plan to go trick-or-treating for Halloween, what are some of the best ways to prevent trick-or-treat injuries?
Here are 10 injury-prevention tips for Halloween that you may want to consider:
- Drivers and trick-or-treaters: Look out! When driving on Beggar's Night, which falls on different nights in different locations, there will be more children out than usual. It's best to err on the side of caution to avoid any pedestrian-car accidents, one of the more common types of injuries that trick-or-treaters are prone to. To make kids more visible to drivers, parents may want to add reflectors to their child's costume; a mask shouldn't block your child's field of vision.
- Make sure your child's costume is proper. In order to prevent child injuries on Halloween, make sure your child's costume is not just visible, but also safe. This means a non-flammable one that fits properly (so they don't trip on it) and has no sharp objects attached.
- Be careful with candles. While cheerfully lit pumpkins are festive, they can also be extreme fire hazards to the children that they might attract.
- Keep pets indoors. While you may have the friendliest pet ever, it's still best to keep all pets indoors and away from trick-or-treaters. Your pet(s) may get extra excited by all the trick-or-treaters that night and things could get out of hand.
- Always ensure adult supervision. Make sure that your children are under the watchful eye of an adult. This is not only obvious, proper parenting, but can help keep your child safe from injuries and other types of harm.
- Make sure your premises are well lit. You could be liable for any injuries that you failed to prevent, if you didn't take reasonable measures. This includes having a poorly lit path to your door, when you know that many children will be visiting.
- Make sure your decorations are safe. If you want to get festive for trick-or-treaters, make sure that your decorations are not hazardous, especially for little ones. If you fail to warn or ensure safety on your premises, you could be held liable for injuries that result.
- Inspect all of your candy. This goes for those who are collecting treats and those who are handing them out. Make sure to only purchase or consume packaged candies from trusted brands, and make sure that nothing has surpassed its expiration date. You could be dealing with many different types of pesky lawsuits if such an oversight occurs.
- Make sure your child wears safe shoes. In most parts of the country, Halloween can be both chilly and wet. A pair of sensible shoes with good traction prevent your child from slip-and-fall accidents, whereas novelty shoes (like clown shoes or other costume accessories) can potentially contribute to an injury.
- Don't make things too scary. Yes, it's Halloween. But, remember that when dealing with children, you shouldn't make things too scary for them. Emotional injuries are still injuries, though they're generally difficult to prove in court.
Be safe and be careful this year. And of course, have a fun and happy Halloween!
- CPSC Provides Three Steps to a Safe Halloween Celebration (United States Consumer Product Safety Commission)
- Candy Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treating (FindLaw's Injured)
- 5 Ways to Prove Emotional Distress (FindLaw's Injured)
- 10 'Spooktacular' Halloween Party Legal Tips (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)