Put Safety First This Halloween
October 26, 2021
The Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC) estimates that every year, more than 3,500 children, teens and adults sustain Halloween-related injuries that are serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. Luckily, the best way to enjoy all the spookiness that Halloween has to offer is simply to make safety a priority. To learn more, check out the CPSC’s useful tips for how to prevent injuries below!
Common Halloween Injuries
According to the CPSC’s data, the thousands of Halloween-related injuries that happen each year tend to involve the following scenarios:
- 25% are lacerations, ingestions and other injuries associated with pumpkins or decorations, costumes, and allergic reactions and/or rashes
- Nearly half involve pumpkin carving
- 27% of injuries are from falls that occur while putting up or taking down decorations, walking while trick-or-treating, and tripping on costumes
How to Celebrate Halloween Safely
Children under the age of 2 account for only 6% of Halloween-related injuries, while individuals between 2 and 18 and adults 18 years and above account for 44% and 56%, respectively. To reduce injury rates in people of all ages, the CPSC recommends observing the following safety tips:
- When it comes to pumpkins, leave the carving to the grown-ups
- Don’t worry, there are still plenty of safe ways to include younger celebrants, like letting kids use a spoon to scoop out the pumpkin’s insides or using a marker to trace the design
- Wear costumes that fit. Try to avoid overly long or baggy costumes that can cause a person to trip and fall. Also, keep in mind that flowing fabrics and particular materials (like sheer cotton and rayon) actually increase fire hazards, although fabrics of all kinds can burn when they come into contact with open flames
- When putting decorations up or taking them down, use a ladder and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Only use lights that were safety tested by a recognized testing laboratory. Before you install lights, check them for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. If the lights show signs of damage, discard them
- Some of the safest types of decorations to use are battery-operated lights or glow sticks. However, if you decide to decorate with open-flame candles, be sure to keep them away from curtains, decorations, and any other combustibles that could catch fire. Do not leave a lit candle unattended
The CPSC is not the only agency out there with useful tips on Halloween safety. Global non-profit organization Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW) has plenty of helpful pointers as well, including:
- Drive extra safely on Halloween. Take extra time to look out for children and teens at intersections, on medians, and on curbs. Slow down and be on alert in residential neighborhoods, and make sure to turn your headlights on earlier in the day so that you can spot children from a greater distance. If you are entering or exiting a driveway, drive slowly
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them, and to cross at street corners while using traffic signals and designated crosswalks. Look left, right, and then left again before crossing a street – and keep looking as you cross
- A responsible adult or responsible teenager should tag along with kids under the age of 12 as they trick-or-treat. If a child is mature enough to go out unsupervised, tell them to stay in familiar, well-lit areas and to trick-or-treat in a group
- Always walk on sidewalks or marked paths. If there are no sidewalks or paths available to walk on, walk facing traffic as far to the left as you can
It is also important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend wearing a protective mask or face covering for most low, moderate, and high-risk Halloween activities this year. The CDC warns against wearing a protective mask underneath a costume mask because it may make it difficult to breathe. Instead, the agency recommends wearing a Halloween-themed cloth mask to reduce COVID-19 transmission risks. To read more of the CDC’s recommendations, you can visit: https://emergency.cdc.gov/newsletters/epic/10222020.htm.
Our team at Galfand Berger is wishing you and your loved ones a very happy, spooky, and safe Halloween! If you have a legal question or concern, someone at our firm can help. To learn more, contact a representative online now.
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If you have a legal question or concern, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger LLP. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.