Although Halloween is still several weeks away, decorations are already in the stores and preparations are getting underway. While Halloween is an exciting time for children collecting treats it is also an important time to address safety concerns so that everyone has an enjoyable experience.
Costumes should be short enough so there is no tripping or falling hazard. Any accessories to the costume such as wands or swords should be soft and have no sharp edges which may cause harm. Using reflective tape on the costume and also on trick-or-treat bags improves the visibility of children to motorists on the street. The child’s ability to see where he or she is walking may be hindered by a mask; think of an alternative such as non-toxic makeup or a well-fitting hat. Shoes should be comfortable and fit well.
Pedestrian injuries are one of the most common injuries to children on Halloween. For that reason, an adult should accompany younger children. Children should stay on well-lit roads and should always use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, make sure children stay at the far edge of the roadway facing the flow of traffic. Remind children to walk and not run from house to house. Kids should not cut across yards where holes or other hazards may not be visible. If crossing the street, do so only at crosswalks. Only go to homes that have a porch light on and caution children to never go inside a home by themselves. Carry a flashlight to increase your ability to see and be seen.
Preparing your own home and yard for trick-or-treaters should involve removing any tripping hazards such as garden hoses, toys or bicycles; checking outdoor lights and replacing burned out bulbs and sweeping the sidewalks and steps to rid them of debris that may cause a fall. If you have pets, consider keeping them inside so they don’t jump on or bite anyone.
At the end of the evening, an adult should check the treats that have been received by their child and throw away any unwrapped or suspicious items. A little precaution will hopefully make this Halloween a fun and safe time.
About The Author: Melinda South has been practicing law with Allen & Allen for almost 30 years. She is an experienced legal researcher, assisting in the preparation of firm briefs and legal directives.