Fall is getting into full swing in Chicagoland, and it’s a favorite time of year for many. With the summer heat winding down and giving us enjoyable 70 degree days, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy the weather and observe the changing Midwest foliage. With the arrival of autumn, that means a favorite holiday of many is soon arriving: Halloween.
Halloween is a fun holiday for people of all ages, both children and adults. However, because the day of the actual holiday is a fun celebration for our youth, it is important to know and understand safety practices to keep everyone free from dangers and injuries. With so much celebrating, activities, and parties going on at the same time with people out and about outdoors, accidents can easily happen, especially if people are not being as vigilant as they should be. Such a busy and exciting time is no time for negligence, but with extra attention to safety, accidents and injuries can be avoided.
According to a report by the website Emergency Care For You by the American College of Emergency Physicians, many dangers and injuries can be prevented or avoided with the knowledge of safety practices. It is estimated that 41 million children go trick-or-treating in the United States, and the risk of a child being hit by a car is about four times higher on Halloween than any other night of the year. In addition to motor vehicle accidents, other common child injuries include eye injuries from sharp objects and burns from flammable costumes. It is advised that children have constant adult supervision while trick-or-treating and that these adults act as good role models by acting safely and promote that the children act in safe manners. Adult supervisors should make sure that the children stay on sidewalks, keep off streets, and obey all traffic signals. Furthermore, adults should encourage the importance of group safety and keep children and adults together in a group. Because costumes can also be hazardous, costumes that can cause children to trip should be avoided. This means avoiding costumes with baggy pants, long hems, high heels, etc., or costumes that obstruct vision. It is also helpful to avoid dark-colored costumes to increase visibility or by adding reflective tape to costumes and taking a flashlight along. Also, all candy should be inspected before consumption, and avoid all candy that is not in an original wrapper.
Another article by the Prevention First Foundation discusses the top three causes of Halloween emergency room visits. In these top 3 are pedestrian collisions with vehicles, burns from flammable costumes, and eye injuries from sharp objects. To avoid collisions, it is important that children walk, not run, from house to house and stay on sidewalks while supervised by an adult. To avoid eye injuries it is advised that children use props that are soft and flexible, instead of hard and blunt objects that can often exist with sword and stick type props. Lastly, to avoid burn injuries, ensure that the costumes are made of flame-resistant materials, and keep lit jack o’lanterns out of reach of small children.
Our attorneys want Halloween to be a fun time for family and friends to be out having fun and enjoying the company of loved ones, not spending their holiday in the emergency room due to injuries from those who were negligent and did not keep the safety of others in mind. On such a holiday it is important that people ensure safety in all ways: on the streets, on their land, and in the treats they provide children. Where people fail in these aspects, victims can hold wrongdoers responsible through a variety of legal actions such as a motor vehicle accident lawsuit, premises liability, and product liability. We hope that this is the case for no one on the holiday, but if you suffer injury, know that our law firm is happy to help you and are lawyers you can trust. We are available for free consultations to discuss legal options with potential clients.