Halloween is an exciting time for children and parents alike. It’s fun choosing a costume, dressing up on Halloween night, and collecting treats from your neighbors. But it’s also important to stay safe. From the outfit your child wears to the candy they get, possible hazards can pose a risk to your kid’s health. Awareness of potential dangers can prevent your child from being injured this Halloween.
Costume Safety Tips
Your child can be nearly anything they want on Halloween – an elf, a princess, an alien, whatever they can imagine.
When picking a costume, keep these important tips in mind:
- Choose costumes with flame-resistant materials: Houses decorated with pumpkins lit by real candles can expose your child to open flames. Check the label on your child’s costume to ensure it’s not made of something that will allow flames to spread quickly. If you’re making the outfit, use flame-resistant materials.
- Go for lighter-colored costumes: Bright outfits are easier to see at night, reducing the possibility of an accident. If your child wants a costume made from darker material, ensure that it glows or add reflective tape so your child can be seen when trick or treating.
- Check the costume length: Make sure your child’s costume isn’t so long they could trip over it. Likewise, check the size of shoes or other footwear to ensure they fit correctly.
- Make sure masks are breathable: If your child’s costume includes a mask, check the mouth and nose openings to ensure they allow proper ventilation. The same goes for beards or other facial coverings.
- Make sure masks don’t obscure vision: Some masks have material covering the eye holes. Ensure that your child will still be able to see out of it. If their vision is obscured, they might not be able to see objects in front of them, causing a trip and fall.
- Test makeup: If your child’s face will be painted, use a small amount of the makeup on their arm first. After a few minutes, check the area for redness, swelling, or a rash.
- Purchase soft costume props: Canes, wands, staffs, or other accessories should be short and flexible. Harder props can cause injury if your child stumbles.
Safety While Trick or Treating
Generally, trick-or-treating begins at dusk and continues well after the sun goes down. The darkness can present several hazards.
Below are a few tips to stay safe while on your journey:
- Remain on well-lit streets and sidewalks: Ensure that your child is visible to others by only walking down walkways with streetlights on. Also, stay on sidewalks, and refrain from cutting across lawns, as they might contain safety hazards.
- Pay attention to motorists: It can be difficult for drivers to see trick-or-treaters. If you see a car coming, stop and let them pass before continuing on your journey. Do not assume right-of-way.
- Only visit homes with porch lights on: Typically, if a house is not lit on Halloween, the owner is not inviting trick-or-treaters. Even if they are handing out candy, going to a home without at least the porch light on can be dangerous because obstacles may be hard to see.
- Take a flashlight: Bring a flashlight with fresh batteries with you.
- Give your child a glowstick: To help increase your kid’s visibility, have them carry a glowstick – such as a necklace or a bracelet.
- Bring hand sanitizer: Your child may be touching handrails, doorknobs, candy, and other people. Prevent the spread of illnesses by having them frequently clean their hands.
- Discourage snacking on treats: Refrain from allowing your child to eat the candy they’ve gotten (it should be inspected before they indulge, which we’ll discuss in the next section). To prevent snacking, give your child a light meal before heading out.
Unfortunately, some people might hand out (knowingly or unknowingly) treats that could harm your child. Sort and check the items your child got before allowing them to eat any of them.
After you’re done trick-or-treating, do the following:
- Examine the treats: Check the candy or other goodies for discoloration, torn wrappers, or unwrapped treats. If anything doesn’t look right, get rid of it.
- Check for choking hazards: Remove anything younger trick-or-treaters could choke on, such as hard candy, gum, or small toys.
- Read the labels: If your child has a food allergy, check the labels for ingredients that could trigger it.
- Throw out homemade baked goods: Although a lot of work might have gone into them, it’s difficult to trust anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Some individuals might have laced the goodies with marijuana or other harmful substances. Anything store-bought and packaged is usually safer.
Legal Help After an Accident
While you can take precautions to prevent harm this Halloween, accidents can still arise because of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts. At Carlson & Dumeer, LLC, we help victims pursue compensation and justice through personal injury claims.