When trick-or-treating or visiting friends or family during Halloween, there are several hazards to be aware of to keep loved ones safe this season. The following are some of the leading causes of injury during Halloween.
The top cause of injuries on Halloween is actually accidents involving vehicles striking pedestrians. Oftentimes, motor vehicle accidents involve children running across the middle of the street as a vehicle passes. Factors that can contribute to these types of accidents on Halloween include dark clothing and dim lighting, but the number-one cause is actually drunk drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Slip and Falls
In many cases, accidents on Halloween result from trip and fall accidents. This could be due to long or heavy costumes, low visibility caused by masks, uneven ground that’s hard to spot in the dark, or objects on the ground such as Halloween decorations.
Choking and Poisoning
Certain candies and other food items handed out on Halloween may present a choking hazard to children. While it’s highly unlikely that candy will pose any other type of hazard to children, certain food items may contain nuts or other ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction.
Instances of poisoning may also result from the ingestion of toxic substances such as glow sticks or face paint. Keep in mind that many food items such as chocolate could be poisonous for pets, making it necessary to keep candy securely stored. Safely storing candy could also keep younger children safe from potential choking hazards.
Sharp objects could also cause eye injuries, which frequently involve props used for costumes such as plastic swords. Some decorative contact lenses that people wear such as those that turn the iris a certain color or shape are also known to cause eye injuries.
Tips for Staying Safe This Halloween
To avoid any injuries during Halloween this season, the following are some tips to follow:
- Parents should accompany children under the age of 12.
- Plan trick-or-treating routes and set curfews for older children trick-or-treating alone.
- Bring flashlights while trick-or-treating in the evening.
- Review safety precautions with children, including looking both ways before crossing the street.
- For drivers, it’s important to drive around five miles-per-hour slower than the speed limit posted during afternoon and evening hours.
Remaining aware and taking the necessary precautions before and during trick-or-treating will keep both children and adults safe on Halloween.