Halloween Safety Tips For Parents, From Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
The days are getting shorter, the leaves are starting to fall (well…maybe not so much in Florida, but if you’re a Floridian you are definitely feeling the temperature drop a few degrees, and that’s about as fall as it gets!), and plenty of candy has flooded the shelves of your local grocery store. It’s that time of year again for your little ghosts and goblins to dress up and collect all the candy they can find. Halloween has long been a great chance to enjoy our families and interact with our neighbors, but unfortunately, the tradition isn’t without many safety concerns for children.
Halloween is especially scary for parents because twice as many children are struck by cars on this night compared to other nights of the year, and there are a myriad of other potential dangers. While you want your kids to have a fun holiday (or as much fun as Halloween can be on a Monday), the priority should always be safety. The good news is that being safe doesn’t have to mean having less fun! Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe while still making the most of this exciting night.
Choose The Right Costume
Halloween safety starts with planning ahead. You can start off well by choosing a safe costume for your children! Depending on their age, your child might have something specific in mind, or want the most popular costume on the block. However, their costume should first and foremost keep them safe and not present any unnecessary dangers; as their parent, you have the right and responsibility to determine what they wear. Choose a costume with the following:
Bright colors. This will make them more visible at night. If they must have a dark-colored costume, decorate it with strips of reflective tape (available in most hardware stores).
Flame-resistant materials. Look for “flame resistant” labels on everything you purchase for them to wear, including wigs. Keep in mind that this type of material isn’t burn-proof, but it won’t catch on fire as easily or burn as quickly as materials that aren’t labeled as such. Of course, keep your kids away from jack-o’-lanterns and other open flames.
The proper fit. Ill-fitting costumes can cause children to trip and fall over steps, curbs, and even the costume. Pants, dresses, and capes should all fall above the ankles. Properly fitted shoes are also essential. Falling due to shoes or outfits that don’t fit right could cause many different injuries, including broken bones and head injuries.
No choking hazards. Especially with younger children, you’ll want to remove all buttons, beads, or anything else on their costume that could be a choking hazard.
Safe or no accessories. Many costumes need props to provide the full effect and more fun. However, if your child carries a prop sword or knife, ensure that it’s crafted from soft plastic, rubber, or cardboard. It also should be free of any rough or sharp edges. This makes it more likely to bend, which can prevent eye, face, and head injuries. If you don’t feel an accessory is safe or your child can be safe with it, leave it at home and out of their reach.
No mask. If your child’s costume comes with a face mask, take some time to inspect it. Some masks could not only scrape their face and eyes but also make it tricky for your child to see potential hazards near busy streets. Instead, you might want to consider nontoxic makeup. If your child insists on wearing a mask, and you are okay with it, check that it’s the right size—ensuring that the eye and mouth holes are big enough for them to see and breathe properly.
Safety Tips For Trick-Or-Treating
Once you have ensured that your child’s costume is safe, take time to think about and plan for how you will keep them safe while they are out in the neighborhood collecting candy. Some of the most important Halloween safety tips for parents revolve around the trick-or-treating portion of the night, because of the dangers that walking around in the dark in neighborhoods can entail!
- Label your child’s clothing with your name, address, and phone number, just in case you are separated during the big night.
- Don’t let kids younger than 12 trick-or-treat without an adult chaperone. Ideally, you should always be with them, not letting them run too far ahead of you.
- If your kids are older than 12 and will be going alone, make sure they can reach you by cell phone. You should also give them or decide on a pre-planned route and curfew.
- Hand out flashlights with fresh batteries. Not only will this help them see where they are going and potentially avoid a trip and fall accident, but it will also help make them more visible to other drivers.
- Remind your children of basic street safety rules, such as looking left, right, and left again before crossing the street and continuing to look as they cross and wait for you at street corners before going on. It’s also a good idea for children with masks to remove them before crossing a street. Remind your children to be aware of any cars that might be coming in and out of driveways.
- Remain on sidewalks. If you have younger children, hold their hand and walk on the sidewalks at all times. While it might be convenient or more festive to cut through yards, doing so can result in accidents when things like decorations, furniture, clotheslines, and other hazards are hard to spot.
Inspect The Loot
Once your kids are home with their candy loot, it’s time to inspect it. Avoid letting them sample any candy on the way so you can visually inspect it when you get home. (You may want to provide a healthy snack before your trick-or-treating adventure to help remove the temptation to snack while you are out.)
Thankfully, candy tampering doesn’t happen frequently, but it’s still a good idea to ensure that what your kids consume is safe. Here’s what to look for:
- Any candy that’s unwrapped, has tears or pinholes on the wrapping, or otherwise just looks suspicious should be thrown out. Hand-wrapped cookies or fruit should meet the same fate unless you know and trust the giver.
- If your child has food allergies, remember to look for allergy-causing ingredients.
- Children younger than four shouldn’t be given any candy that could present a choking hazard, such as gum, nuts, hard candies, and popcorn.
You Can’t Anticipate Every Danger – If Your Child Is Injured, Call The Florida Law Group.
We hope that thinking through some of these Halloween safety tips for parents is a helpful exercise! Everyone at our firm wants families to have a safe, happy Halloween, but even if you do everything in your power to keep you and your children protected, you can’t always predict the actions of other people. Accidents do happen. If you or your children are involved in a car accident, a pedestrian accident, or an accident on someone else’s property that was a result of someone else’s negligence, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Florida Law Group are here to help! We can assess the circumstances of your accident and injuries, discuss your legal rights and options, and explain the next best steps. Call our firm today to schedule a free consultation!