Halloween Safety Risks: How To Avoid Them and What To Do If You or Your Child Gets Injured
Each year, individuals and families across Ohio celebrate Halloween by carving pumpkins, going to haunted houses, trick-or-treating, and attending festivals and parties. Unfortunately, while these activities are usually relatively safe, many children and adults suffer Halloween-related injuries each year.
With Halloween right around the corner, we want to offer some safety tips for avoiding Halloween-related accidents. We also want to make sure Ohio residents know what to do if they or their children get injured during their Halloween festivities.
10 Safety Tips for Avoiding Halloween Injuries
Here are 10 safety tips for avoiding Halloween injuries:
1. Use Safe Pumpkin Carving Tools and Techniques
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, pumpkin carving accidents are the leading cause of Halloween-related injuries. These accidents often happen because children and adults are not using safe pumpkin carving tools and techniques. Dull-tipped serrated knives are best, and pumpkin carvers should never cut toward their own (or anyone else’s) hands.
2. Choose Safe Costumes
Several factors can make a costume unsafe. This includes everything from masks with limited visibility to shoes with limited grip. Some costumes can present choke hazards as well (i.e., those with capes and wings), and bulky and flowing costumes can make it difficult for trick-or-treaters to see where they are walking.
3. Go Trick-or-Treating Before Dark
Going trick-or-treating before dark can help reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Rain, leaves, gravel and various other hazards can all cause slips and falls, and these accidents become more likely as the sun goes down.
4. Be Careful at Festivals and Neighborhood Events
Festivals and neighborhood Halloween events can present various injury risks as well. Along with risks for slips and falls, these include risks related to jump castles, throwing games, corn mazes and other activities. While the organizations that put on these events should take adequate safety precautions and ensure proper supervision, many fail to do so.
5. Avoid Visiting Haunted Houses During Peak Hours
While haunted houses can be fun, they can also be dangerous. Slip and trip hazards, fog machines, strobe lights, malfunctioning robotics, and various other issues can lead to premises liability claims. The risk of injury becomes greater as haunted houses become more crowded, and with this in mind, it is best to avoid visiting during peak hours if possible.
6. Carry a Flashlight
Whether you are putting up Halloween decorations after work, trick-or-treating, or attending Halloween festivities at night, it is always a good idea to carry a flashlight. If you can see where you are stepping, you are far less likely to slip or trip and fall.
7. Make Yourself Visible to Others
In addition to improving your own visibility, it is important to make sure you are visible to others. Along with carrying a flashlight, consider wearing shoes or a jacket with reflective material, and have your children carry (or wear) glow sticks or other light-up items.
8. Try To Avoid Slip and Trip Hazards
If you see a potential slip or trip hazard, do your best to avoid it. In most cases, it is better to go around rather than over (i.e., going around a display of pumpkins and straw bales instead of trying to step across it). If an area is too dark to see where you are stepping, avoid it if you can; and if you can’t, proceed as cautiously as possible.
9. Go As a Group
When it comes to avoiding slip and trip hazards, there is often safety in numbers. If you go with friends or family members as a group, there is a greater chance that someone will spot any hazards your group may encounter.
10. Take Off Your Mask When Necessary
Finally, while it may be fun to stay in character, it is important to take your mask off when necessary (if your costume includes a mask). If your mask limits your field of vision and you are walking somewhere where you might possibly slip, trip or fall, make safety your first priority—and encourage your children to do the same.
What To Do if You (or Your Child) Gets Injured on Halloween
What if you get injured on Halloween despite your best efforts to stay safe? Or, what if your child gets injured in a slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall or other accident? Accident-related injuries can lead to significant out-of-pocket costs, and you will want to recover these costs if possible.
In many cases, individuals and families who are coping with the costs of Halloween accidents will have premises liability claims. These are claims against businesses, neighborhood associations, homeowners and others based on dangerous property conditions. If you have a premises liability claim for your (or your child’s) Halloween accident, you can seek to recover your family’s medical expenses, income loss, pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you or your child gets injured on Halloween, you should do the following promptly:
- Document the accident as thoroughly as possible. Take photos and videos, take detailed notes, and write down the names of any witnesses. Keep any costumes or other personal items that were damaged in the accident.
- Seek medical attention. While you might not want to disrupt your Halloween celebrations, it is important that you seek treatment right away. Go to the nearest hospital, or call 911 if necessary.
- Talk to a lawyer about your legal rights. Accident victims and parents can file premises liability claims in a broad range of scenarios. A lawyer can explain your legal rights, and if you have a claim, your lawyer can fight for just compensation on your behalf.
Contact Malek & Malek Law Firm | Premises Liability Lawyers in Columbus, OH
Our lawyers have decades of experience filing premises liability claims on behalf of individuals and families in Columbus. If you need a lawyer this Halloween, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. You can reach us by phone at 888-444-7440 or send us your contact information online and we will be in touch as soon as possible.