This year has flown by, and although it seems like yesterday we were enjoying the summer, Halloween is right around the corner. Unlike the last couple of years, for most people, covid-19 is not playing as much of a factor. With low infection rates, low hospitalizations and deaths, and a high vaccination rate, the risk of covid is thankfully not as looming as it was in the years prior.
That being said, there are other dangers that Halloween can present. Especially for families who have children, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take precautions so that your family can be safe and have a fun Halloween. Additionally, anyone who goes out on Halloween needs to be cautious, especially if they are going out late and are driving on the road.
If your children are going trick-or-treating, it’s important to make sure they are as safe as possible. There is safety in numbers so make sure your kids are going with a group. Ideally, an adult would be present. But if your children are older, you can have them join their friends so at least there is someone looking out for them without interfering with their fun.
For younger children, you will need to have an adult at hand to keep track of your kid during Halloween. It could be you, an older sibling, or a known parent that you trust. This is important because it is not wise to leave decisions like what route to take and when to cross the street.
Additionally, make sure you are aware of where your children are going and what neighborhood they will be in. Have your kids stick to your neighborhood where you and familiar neighbors can keep an eye out for them. Additionally, give your child a smartphone, if they don’t already have one, so that you can have their location tracked, and you can call each other if needed.
Finally, your child should never under any circumstances enter a stranger’s home. This is something that you should make crystal clear if you want to ensure that they remain safe during Halloween trick-or-treat trips. You should also instruct them to avoid strangers, especially those roaming the streets.
Believe it or not, a lot of costumes can present a high risk of injury. Many Halloween decorations involve candles, lanterns and fire. With a lot of accessories such as wigs and clothes, your costume could be a potential fire hazard. By law, Halloween costumes and accessories are supposed to be flame resistant, so make sure you know if that is the case for your costume. If your costume is homemade, this presents a greater risk of it being a fire hazard.
Additionally, be mindful of other potential hazards your costume or others can present. If you have a lot of loose fabric, this could easily become a tripping hazard. Another risk of injury are sharp or point accessories. Objects like sticks, pointed props such as swords, spears and wands can poke out the eyes of excited children (or adults) gathered too close.
Finally, giving yourself eerie eyes could be dangerous as well. Before you put those crazy contacts into your eyes, be aware that they could contain chlorine, iron, and other harmful chemicals, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Many of the decorative contacts sold online and in gas stations and beauty parlors are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They could easily contain harmful colorants used to create tints and patterns on the surface of the lens.
If you are going out on Halloween whether to a party, a friend’s house, or to a bar, it’s important to also be aware of the potential dangers that go along with that. Many go out drinking on Halloween, and that makes the roads especially dangerous. Additionally, with trick-or-treaters walking the streets, it increases the risk of causing pedestrian injury. The risk of a child getting hit by a car actually doubles on Halloween.
NHTSA statistics show that during a four-year period, 14% of all pedestrian deaths on Halloween involved drunken drivers. Overall, the agency says Halloween drunk-driving fatalities are on the rise, with 44% of all people killed in car crashes on Halloween night involving a drunk driver.
Therefore, it is imperative that you drink responsively, and drive defensively. If you know you will be drinking alcohol, make sure you have a responsible, designated driver to get everyone home safely. If you are driving in a residential area, drive slower than normal. Have the awareness that there could be a child running in the street at any given moment.
Not only that, it’s very possible that there could be other drivers on the road who are intoxicated, especially as the night progresses. If you notice a car that is swerving, making sharp turns, and braking and accelerating suddenly, it may be an intoxicated driver.
If you feel you are sharing the road with a drunk driver, it’s best to slow down or pull over and possibly record and report the car to the police. Do not try to get them to pull over and do not try to pass them. Alcohol can be a catalyst for disaster. Keeping in mind the very real risks that come along with it will hopefully reduce the risk of penalties, accidents, and injury.
These Halloween safety tips will definitely come in handy this coming holiday. The important thing to do is to ensure that you are sufficiently prepared to keep an eye out for your kid whether in person or remotely.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.