Halloween is a time of year that both adults and children look forward to. It is a time to let go, become something or someone else, and just have fun. While the day is designed for fun, there are some risks for injury that seem to coincide with the festivities. From crimes that happen on Halloween to hazards that can lead to catastrophic injuries, being prepared lessens the chances of becoming a victim.
While this list covers the most common injuries of the season, do not let it deter you from soaking up everything there is to love about Halloween. Instead, use it as a guide to help you be cautious while enjoying the fun of Halloween with the entire family.
From pumpkin carving injuries to a pedestrian versus automobile accidents, some injuries are more common in the month of October.
Car accidents are the most common in October, with a marked increase happening on Halloween night. Sadly, children are more likely to be struck by a vehicle while trick-or-treating. Most of these accidents occur between 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
While drivers are often at-fault for these accidents, a child could be at-fault too if they enter the road without looking or trip on a Halloween costume in the middle of the road.
The average age for kids who seem to be at the highest risk for an injury from a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident is 12 to 18 years old. Typically, these are children who are out roaming the streets without parental supervision and may be distracted by friends, fun, and trick-or-treating.
Some things you can do to help prevent your child from being injured by a motor vehicle include:
Sadly, when Halloween falls on a weekend, the chances of a child or adult being injured in a drunken driving accident increase substantially. In one report released by the Alcohol Monitoring Systems, drinking violations increase by 4.5 times when Halloween falls on a Saturday.
Furthermore, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), shows that from 2009 to 2013, a full 43 percent of accident-type deaths on Halloween were caused by drunken drivers. Worse yet, 26 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred because of a drunken driver on Halloween.
Some candies can serve as choking hazards, especially for younger children. Hard and sticky candies should not be given to small children, and children should not eat their candy while walking and running about from house-to-house.
When your children get home with their candy collections, examine the candy and pick out which candies are appropriate for their age.
You might think that eating too much candy on Halloween night is just part of the festivities – and could not lead to an injury. While an upset stomach is likely, some pediatricians warn that too much candy can lead to bad habits, allergic reactions, and extreme vomiting – all which may require a hospital stay.
Therefore, pick out candies and limit your child on how much he or she can eat Halloween night to avoid a trip to the ER.
Sadly, the risk of poisoning increases on Halloween. Beware of the following:
Cheaper face paints may contain toxic chemicals or cause a severe allergic reaction. While manufacturers are required to label their paints properly with warnings and ensure that there are no hazardous chemicals, not all manufacturers follow such protocols. Compare the ingredients of your face paint with known makeup brands. Also, make sure the face paint only uses the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of approved color additives to lessen the risk of a toxic reaction.
Teens and adults want to fine-tune the look of their costume by using decorative contacts. Unfortunately, these contacts are not manufactured like traditional contact lenses; therefore, they run a higher risk for tears and infections. Furthermore, these lenses are not designed to fit your individual eye – and you could suffer a permanent eye injury or even blindness.
Also, be sure not to share these lenses, because doing so increases the risk of a dangerous eye infection.
Did you know that consuming too much black licorice could lead to heart failure or an abnormal rhythm? Adults over 40 are at higher risk for this injury, and you would need to eat a lot of the product – but it is wise to be cautious about how much black licorice you allow yourself to consume.
Decorations, costumes, and more all pose a risk of fire on Halloween.
According to research conducted by the NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Division from 2006 to 2010 – decorations were the leading cause of home structure fires on Halloween. Half of these decorations ignited because they were too close to a heat source, and 41 percent were started by candles.
Also, the US Fire Administration indicates that there is an average of 10,300 fires on the Halloween weekend stretch, and these fires result in an average of 25 deaths, 125 injuries, and billions in damages.
Burn injuries are extremely devastating and could leave a victim permanently disfigured. To avoid these hazards, consider the following:
Slip, trip and fall hazards are everywhere, every day. However, on Halloween the risk of a slip, trip, or fall incident increases due to the environment.
Whether you are a homeowner with trick-or-treaters entering your property, or you have small children going out to collect candy, you need to be aware of these hazards and do what you can to avoid them.
Whether you or a loved one was injured on Halloween due to someone’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. Regardless of the holiday, people are required to keep their homes safe, manufacturers are required to sell safe products, and motorists must drive with caution. Therefore, when someone ignores their duty of care and causes an injury, that person is financially responsible.