How to Prevent Common Halloween Injuries
Did you know there are approximately 3,800 Halloween injuries every year in America? It’s one of the more dangerous holidays for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will go through the most common Halloween injuries and what you can do to prevent them.
Cuts from Pumpkin Carving
The most common Halloween injury is a laceration from pumpkin carving. Most people only attempt carving at Halloween and they lack experience about how to prevent cuts.
To prevent cutting yourself or someone else, make sure the knives, other carving instruments, and the pumpkin itself are as dry as possible. As you carve, the juice from the pumpkin will get on your hands and the carving instrument. This can create a dangerous situation. Take frequent pauses during the carving process to dry the handle of the knife, your hands, and the exterior of the pumpkin.
In addition, make sure you are carving the pumpkin in a well-lit area. Carving in a dim area increases the likelihood of a laceration. Lastly, never let a child carve a pumpkin no matter how much the child insists. Always let the adult do the work. Give the child an “important job” such as scooping out the seeds or putting decorations on the pumpkin.
Trips, Slips, and Falls
The next most common Halloween injury is a trip and fall. Most children are excited about trick-or-treating and run through neighbors’ yards. There may be hazards such as holes, lawn decorations, sprinklers, etc. that can create a tripping hazard. Always tell your child to walk and to be on the lookout for tripping obstacles.
Trip and falls also occur with adults on Halloween. Walking on dimly lit sidewalks or roads that are crumbling or have potholes can cause trips. Common injuries from trip and falls include sprains, strains, and even fractures.
Pedestrian v. Vehicle Accidents
The third most common Halloween injury is when an automobile strikes a pedestrian. With the high number of pedestrians on the streets at Halloween, this makes sense. To reduce the risk of this type of accident, those on foot should wear brightly colored clothing or reflective strips. Tell your children that they should only cross the street with an adult after looking both ways.
If you are driving a vehicle at nighttime on Halloween, travel below the posted speed limit, especially in neighborhoods. You must anticipate that children will cross the road unexpectedly. Be prepared to brake or take evasive action. The law requires you to drive like a reasonable and prudent person under the circumstances.
Burn injuries are also unfortunately quite common on Halloween. With the combination of candles and costumes, serious burns can occur if precautions are not taken.
Halloween costumes are regulated under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). However, you should double-check the costume labels to see if they are “flame-retardant.” If there is such a label, the costume is made with materials that resist the spread of fire.
If you plan to make a costume from scratch, use flame proof materials. Also, you should treat the fabric with a flame retardant spray.
Be Safe This Halloween!
We at Siniard Law wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween! If we can ever be of assistance with an injury-related issue, please reach out for a free consultation.