Almost everyone loves Halloween, and with good reason: From bobbing for apples to wearing fun costumes, this beloved American tradition creates magical and spooky memories for people of all ages. Unfortunately, all the Halloween fun can quickly become more than just a good scare, as there are many hazards lurking for both kids and adults at this time of year.
From an increased rate of car accidents to harmful strangers, Halloween can cause injuries and plenty of problems for law enforcement officials. At Meyerkord & Kurth, our St. Louis personal injury attorneys have collected a few safety tips here to ensure that your family has a fun and positive Halloween experience.
Contact Meyerkord & Kurth, at (800) 391-4318 for a free case review if you or a loved one is injured during the Halloween season.
Halloween Hazards (and How to Avoid Them)
Because Halloween is dedicated to bringing out the ghoul in all of us, it’s little wonder that this holiday often causes headaches for law enforcement – and injuries for the unwary. Teenagers may perform malicious “pranks” on houses, damaging your valuable property with eggs and other corrosive substances. While the time-honored ritual of trick-or-treating can be rewarding, there are some cities in Virginia that have actually banned this Halloween activity for teenagers, and imposed a strict curfew on young children, even when accompanied by parents.
Additionally, there are more people out and about on Halloween, and because of this, children are more than twice as likely to be injured or fatally struck in a car accident. In fact, the entire month of October is ranked 2nd in motor vehicle deaths throughout the year, many of which happen on the 31st.
Some of the main hazards to keep in mind on Halloween night include:
- Pedestrian accidents
- Flammable costumes and wigs
- Accidents involving drunk drivers
- Property damage from teenagers’ pranks
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Toxic Halloween makeup, and/or allergic reactions to costume materials
- Obstructed vision caused by masks
- Harmful strangers
- Dangerous objects, like razorblades, embedded in treats
- Food poisoning from party refreshments and candy
- Alcohol poisoning
- Injuries sustained on poorly-maintained premises, like slippery residential walkways
Basic Safety Tips for a Happy Halloween
Thinking about all the possible harm on Halloween can be scary, but fortunately, there are many ways you can combat the dangers and protect your family this Halloween night. From accompanying younger children to carefully reviewing costume choices, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that your children have happy memories of this occasion for years to come.
Here are a few basic tips to discuss with your family this Halloween:
- When trick-or-treating, always accompany children under the age of 13. While it’s not required to do so in every state, it’s always a smart idea to come trick-or-treating with your kids, and have input in the route they take. Plus, you’ll get to relive the fun of your own childhood!
- Have older children review their plans or trick-or-treating routes with you. They may roll their eyes, but taking a few minutes to discuss your kids’ Halloween plans may prevent serious injuries. Confirm who they will be visiting, where they will be going, and what activities they will be participating in.
- Agree on a curfew time and some other house rules. No matter whether your child is 5 or 15, you should establish firm deadlines for bedtimes on Halloween night, and make sure they don’t eat any treats given by strangers alone. Set some rules for reviewing their stash when they get home.
- Make sure that all your children have reflective gear and/or clothing. It can get dark pretty quickly on Halloween night, even if you establish early curfews for your children. Give them something reflective, like a glow stick or reflective tape, and make sure they’ll be visible to drivers on the streets.
- Don’t let new drivers handle vehicles on Halloween. Your newly-licensed 16-year old may beg you to let them drive, but avoid the temptation. There are many drunk drivers and pedestrians out on Halloween, and an inexperienced driver has an increased chance of both sustaining and causing serious injuries.
- Check all make-up to confirm it is nontoxic. Many companies are careless about the quality of makeup products for Halloween costumes, including dangerous substances like lead and talc. Read all labels carefully, and patch test before applying any makeup to yourself or your children.
- Watch out for sexual harassment and abuse. Halloween has long been a dangerous time for adults too, with increased rates of sexual assault and harassment, especially for women. If you’re over 21 and attending a party with alcohol, make sure that you have trusted friends with you, and use the buddy system when travelling to and from parties.
Here at Meyerkord & Kurth, we hope that you and your family can stay safe during the holiday season and beyond. Unfortunately, however, there are times when even the most prepared individuals can become injured due to the reckless actions or negligence of others. If you, your child, or another loved one is injured during the holiday, our St. Louis personal injury lawyers can help. With a close-knit, dedicated team and years of experience handling injury claims, we can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Give us a call at (800) 391-4318 or request a free case review online.