Late night activities, flammable costumes, electric decorations, pumpkin carving, candy from strangers…there are many things that can pose hazards on Halloween. It’s a holiday for socializing and spooking, but it can also be a hotbed of potential personal injury accidents. Instead of shutting yourself in for the night, prevent Halloween injuries by preparing. A bit of awareness and vigilance can go a long way this holiday season.
1. Dress for Success
Many people’s favorite part of Halloween is dressing up. Unfortunately, dressing as a favorite super hero or princess can prove perilous on Halloween night. Some costumes increase the risk of personal injury accidents. Get creative with costume planning, but keep a few safety tips in mind:
Fires are common around Halloween due to candles in Jack-o-lanterns and electric decorations. Use flame-retardant materials to make your costume, or make sure the costume you buy says “flame-resistant” or something similar on the tag.
On average, twice as many child pedestrians die while walking on Halloween than other days of the year. Dress children in reflective, glowing, or brightly colored costumes to make them more visible in the roads while they trick-or-treat.
Make sure you can act and react naturally in your costume. Don’t wear anything that makes it difficult to move, breathe, or see. Costumes children can trip over can cause injuries, as can costumes with hazards like sharp props.
Put safety first when designing your costume this year. Wear something that’s comfortable and functional on Halloween, even if it means compromising your original vision for the outfit. There are plenty of costume ideas that don’t sacrifice safety.
2. Protect Pedestrians
Pedestrian collisions are the most common type of fatal accident on Halloween night. The tradition of trick-or-treating puts millions of people out on the roadways amidst traffic. While some neighborhoods shut streets down for Halloween night, others intermingle pedestrians and vehicles. Keep yourself, your children, and other pedestrians safe by paying attention while on the road.
As a walker, wear reflective strips on your clothing and stick to sidewalks as much as possible. Use crosswalks to cross the road, and tell children not to run out from behind parked vehicles. Avoid high-traffic areas, or consider “parking lot” trick-or-treat if your community offers it instead of traditional street walking on Halloween. As a driver, drive slowly and watch for pedestrians on and around Halloween night. Never drink and drive.
3. Keep Traditions Injury-Free
Halloween typically comes with family traditions like carving the pumpkin or bringing out decorations. Keep your traditions injury-free by following a few best practices. Only let children carve pumpkins with child-friendly tools or have them draw or paint pumpkins instead. Use battery-powered lights instead of real candles to light the pumpkins.
Check all cords and wires on electrical décor to look for frayed or damaged wires. Discard damaged or worn electrical decorations. If your kids go trick-or-treating, check all candy packaging for openings or tears. Only allow them to eat candy that’s completely sealed. Stay away from homemade treats. With a few simple tips, the only scares your family will have this Halloween will be for fun, not for real.