Halloween is supposed to be a fun day for kids and parents. Unfortunately, Halloween also presents a number of potential child safety hazards and children may be injured through no fault of their own. To help keep your kids safe this Halloween, consider the “Five Cs” of Halloween safety tips: Costumes, Children & Trick or Treating, Cars, Candy, and Carving.
- The most important thing for any child’s costume is that it is flame-retardant. Only buy commercial costumes if they say “flame retardant” on the label. And if you make your child’s costume, use only flame-retardant fabrics like nylon.
- Children should never wear masks, which cover their faces and obstruct breathing. A non-toxic face paint or other makeup makes a good substitute. Just make sure to test any makeup to ensure it does not irritate your child’s skin.
- Stay away from black or other dark-colored costumes, especially if your children will be trick-or-treating at night when motorists may have difficulty seeing them. Dress children in lighter-colored costumes and use reflective tape so they are more visible.
- Do not use colored contact lenses as part of your child’s costume unless they are prescribed by his or her eye doctor.
- Exercise caution when using wigs, beards, or other artificial hair as part of your child’s costume. Such items should never cover your child’s eyes, nose, or throat.
- Make sure your child’s costume fits properly. Do not let them leave the house with any loose or dangling items, which might cause them to trip and fall.
- Children should always wear normal, well-fitting shoes with their costumes. Avoid oversized shoes or high heels, which can make it difficult for your child to walk.
- Children should never use knives, swords or other sharp, metallic objects as part of a Halloween costume. If necessary, use flexible plastic swords as an accessory.
Children & Trick or Treating
- Children under the age of 12 should never trick-or-treat without adult supervision.
- If older children trick-or-treat on their own, make sure you know what route they plan to take around the neighborhood. Children should avoid any house where you do not know the residents or the front porch lights are turned off.
- All children should carry a working flashlight while trick-or-treating. It may also help to wear glow sticks or glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Tell your children to stick to well-lighted streets and public areas.
- Make sure your own house is safe for visiting trick-or-treaters. Keep your front lights on and remove any obstructions or hazards from your walkway and front lawn. Keep your pets secured inside the house so they do not chase (and possibly bite) any young children.
- Insurance industry studies have shown children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as on any other day of the year.
- Instruct your children to look both ways each time before crossing the street. Take care to obey traffic signals.
- Children should never run while trick-or-treating. They should walk from house to house in an orderly manner. Children should never run out into the street, even if they think there are no oncoming cars.
- A distracted child is an endangered child. Children should not use any electronic devices while crossing a street. Make sure they pay attention for cars backing up or entering an intersection.
- It should go without saying, but warn your children never to get into a stranger’s car.
- Never allow your child to eat any candy or other treat before you have examined it.
- Children should not accept—or eat—any candy unless it is commercially wrapped. Improper wrapping may be a sign of tampering. You should always err on the side of caution and discard any piece of candy if the wrapper is torn.
- Children should never accept homemade treats from people you do not know.
- Young children should not eat any candy that may pose a choking hazard. This includes any item with nuts or gum, as well as smaller hard candies.
- If you are throwing a Halloween party for children, exercise appropriate food safety. Do not serve any juice, cider, milk, or other beverage that is unpasteurized. If you serve raw fruit—a good alternative to candy—make sure it is washed first to reduce the presence of harmful bacteria. Never leave any prepared foods at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Children should not use knives to carve Halloween pumpkins. Either you or an older relative should do the actual carving. Make sure your child is kept at a safe distance whenever someone is working with a knife.
- If children want to help remove the pumpkin “guts,” make sure they use a large spoon, ice cream scoop, or even their hands. Do not let them remove the flesh with a knife. And make sure no pumpkin flesh is left on the floor, as someone could slip and fall.
- Do not place candles inside a carved pumpkin. They are a fire hazard. A glow stick or electric candle can be used to safely illuminate the pumpkin.
Has Your Child Been Hurt in a Halloween Accident? Contact Our Injury Lawyers in Raleigh, NC
Many Halloween accidents are avoidable if you follow the Halloween safety tips listed above. Of course, not everyone is so careful and someone else’s negligence may lead to your child getting hurt.
If your child or another family member has been injured in a Halloween-related accident, you should immediately seek advice from qualified North Carolina accident lawyers.
The Raleigh injury attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are experienced in dealing with all types of personal injury cases. Contact us today if you need to speak with someone right away.