Most children cannot wait for Halloween, and many spend much of October considering what kind of costume they will wear on the festive night and fantasizing about the stash of candy they will collect.
While the kids look forward to going house to house in the hopes of getting sweet treats, parents have been tricked into worrying themselves sick over what frighteningly dangerous items could show up in their child’s goody bag.
Urban legends abound about children being injured by Halloween candy tampering, but the real threats to your child on Halloween are often overlooked. Accidental injuries involving children on Halloween are more frequently caused by three dangers: pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, and choking hazards.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pedestrian accidents are the most common cause of injury among children at Halloween. Children get excited about trick-or-treating and stray off sidewalks or attempt to cross streets before looking to see if it is safe.
An adult should always accompany young children when the go trick or treating. Older children should go as a group, and review their route beforehand. To ensure your little ghosts and goblins stay protected, follow the American Academy of Pediatric’s safety tips to prevent pedestrian accidents on Halloween:
- Make sure your child’s costume is brightly colored, and use reflective tape on both their costume and trick-or-treat bag to add visibility;
- Stay on well-lit streets and always use sidewalks;
- If you must walk in the road, walk at the far edge facing traffic;
- Never cross the street between parked cars, and use caution at driveways;
- Do not assume a car will see you and stop. Always wait for a light or signal to cross;
- When crossing streets without a crosswalk or signal, look right, then left, then right again before crossing.
Slip and Fall Injuries
While children love dressing up as their favorite character, not every Halloween costume is practical for trick-or-treating. Slip and fall accidents are common at Halloween, and can result in serious injuries. Follow these tips for selecting a safe Halloween costume for children:
- Masks can hinder a child’s vision. Use theatrical makeup instead;
- Children should carry a flashlight so that they can see where they are going;
- Make sure your child’s costume fits well and make sure the hem does not drag;
- Tie hats and scarves securely so they do not slip and block your child’s vision;
- Make sure any props are made of soft material, and are not too large or bulky for your child to carry.
Homeowners can avoid liability for accidents by making sure their walkways are well lit and free of debris. Remove obstacles from your lawn, and make sure any extension cords are tucked out of the way.
While stories about Halloween candy tampering have proven to be more myth than fact, you still want to warn your child not to eat any Halloween goodies before you have a chance to check through it first.
According to the U.S. Department of Health, many candies can present a choking hazard to children both young and old. Halloween treats that may cause choking include gum, peanuts, hard candy, nougats, and taffy, as well as small toys and coins that people sometimes give as treats. It is always smart to do a candy inspection, and throw any unwrapped or suspicious looking candy your child receives.
Contact Our Office for Help
If your child suffers an accident or injury, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys today. At the Disparti Law Group, P.A, we understand the serious nature and potential long-term ramifications of childhood injuries. Our attorneys will provide your family with the aggressive legal representation you need to help hold responsible parties accountable, while assisting you in getting the compensation your child deserves. Call us today at (727) 934-7862 for a free consultation.