Protecting Yourself from Halloween Hazards

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Halloween is right around the corner and the streets will be filled with children decked out in their costumes, going from house to house in search of candy. While it is a festive and fun day, it is also a dangerous one, with more people out and about, especially after the sun goes down. Parents and homeowners both need to take precautions to make sure everyone stays accident and injury-free.

Not surprisingly, there are a great deal of pedestrian accidents on Halloween. Since a majority of fatal pedestrian accidents occur after dark, parents must use even more caution when walking with their trick-or-treaters. Young children have trouble judging how fast a car is going or how far away it is. Plus, they are usually excited to be out in their costumes, which can make them even less attentive. Emergency rooms see a large number of children on and around Halloween for various injuries. Children between the ages of 10 to 14 tend to see the highest number of injuries.

Here are some things to remember as you and your children head out this Halloween:

  • Stick to sidewalks and walkways. Do not cut across driveways or lawns, as there may be obstructions that can cause an accident and injury.
  • Cross the street at the corner and at crosswalks. Even while on a residential street, it can be dangerous to cross in the middle of the block, especially if you are heading out into the road between two parked cars. This makes it more difficult for drivers to see you.
  • Try to stay in well-lit areas. If this is difficult, make sure children are equipped with reflective tape on their clothing or treat bags. Glow sticks or glow necklaces are a creative way to ensure your child is seen by drivers in the dark.
  • Do not go to houses where there is a loose dog in the yard. Be aware when someone answers the door with a dog close by. Halloween is a confusing and chaotic day for dogs. They may react differently than you are used to, even biting someone if they feel threatened in any way.

If you are planning to open your door for trick-or-treaters, you must make sure your property is safe in order to avoid a trip and fall or slip and fall accident. Some tips for homeowners include:

  • Keep your lawn, driveway, and porch clear of any obstacles, including rakes, hoses, ladders, toys, etc. Do not use candles as part of decorations inside or outside your home to protect against a house fire or someone’s costume becoming engulfed in flames.
  • Make sure your walkway, driveway, and porch are well lit and clear of any leaves that may have already fallen off trees.
  • Block off any areas on your property that are unsafe to walk on.
  • Keep all pets inside and away from the door. Close blinds or drapes so dogs do not see anyone approaching the house, and give them a treat or toy as a distraction.

In order to have a safe and fun Halloween, we all must work together and take whatever precautions are necessary to do so. Unfortunately, accidents will still happen and parents should be prepared. Make sure your contact information is on your child at all times. And if your child is injured this Halloween due to another person’s negligence, please call the skilled and compassionate attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to help secure the compensation you and your child are entitled to.