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  • Halloween Safety

    halloweenThe spooky season is officially upon us. Halloween may be all about dressing up in fun costumes, trick-or-treating and carving jack-o-lanterns, but remember: accidents still happen. To reduce preventable injuries, the National Safety Council (NSC) first began encouraging Americans to observe Halloween Safety Month every October since the 1970s. To have the best — and safest – Halloween with your friends and family, check out some of the useful tips that we compiled below.

    Costume Safety

    Dressing up can be one of the most fun parts of Halloween, but sometimes costumes are dangerous. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the following tips for making sure that a costume will not create avoidable safety hazards:

    • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
    • If you allow your children out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
    • A mask might make your costume look come together, but it can also obscure the wearer’s vision. As an alternative, consider using nontoxic Halloween makeup. Always test makeup in a small area of the skin first to see if any irritation develops
    • Remove all makeup before going to bed to prevent eye and skin irritation

    Traffic Safety for Trick-or-Treaters and Motorists

    According to the NSC, children are more than two-times as likely to be struck by a motor vehicle and killed on Halloween as compared to any other day of the year. A responsible adult should accompany young children when they are out trick-or-treating, and it is a good idea to keep the following tips from the Council in mind, too:

    • If older children are going trick-or-treating alone, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you
    • Agree on a specific time that children must return home
    • Teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home or vehicle
    • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and to stay with their friends
    • Tell your children to not eat any treats until they return home
    • Take care to avoid food allergies

    Parents, along with anyone else that plans to be on the road during Halloween, need to be careful to keep an eye out for young trick-or-treaters and pedestrians. Here are some of the NSC’s recommendations:

    • Watch for children walking on medians, roadways and curbs
    • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
    • At twilight and later on in the evening, watch for children who are wearing darkly-colored clothing
    • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

    Other Halloween Safety Tips

    While costumes and traffic are critical Halloween safety issues, it is important to remember that other types of accidents can happen too. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 3,500 children, teens and adults sustain Halloween-related injuries that are serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room each year. A significant number of these injuries involve lacerations that result from carving pumpkins. The other most common injuries involve falls while putting up or taking down decorations, walking while trick-or-treating, or tripping on a costume. To reduce injury rates, the CPSC recommends the following:

    • Leave pumpkin carving to the adults. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of other ways that younger children can have, like letting them use a spoon to scoop out the pumpkin’s insides or using a marker to trace a design
    • Wear a costume that fits. Try to avoid overly long or baggy costumes, which make it easier to trip
    • When putting decorations up or taking them down, use a ladder and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
    • Only use lights that were safety tested by a recognized testing facility. Before installing lights, check them from broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. If the lights show any signs of damage, discard them
    • The safest decorations to use around the house are battery-operated lights and glow sticks. However, if you choose to use open-flame candles, make sure to keep them away from curtains, decorations and any other combustibles that could catch fire. Never leave a lit candle unattended

    The entire team here at Galfand Berger is wishing you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy – and spooky! — Halloween. If you have a legal question or concern, someone can help. Contact a representative online now.

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have a question about filing a legal claim, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)