As personal injury attorneys in Rock Hill, South Carolina, we know that with Halloween right around the corner thousands around the country are planning parties and brainstorming potential ideas for costumes. While Halloween night is definitely a time for festivity, it is also a time for caution. Plenty of mischiefs happens on October 31st and some of it causes personal injury. Unfortunately, not every Halloween story ends well and it is very likely that you have heard stories of drunk driving accidents, costumes catching fire, or other injuries occurring during All Hallows Eve. Almost all personal injuries on Halloween are preventable.
In this article, we will explain the most common personal injury during Halloween in South Carolina and how to avoid it.
WHICH PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM IS THE MOST COMMON ON HALLOWEEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
Every Halloween, thousands of children swarm the streets and neighborhoods going from door to door. Children being children, do not always look before crossing the street or carry flashlights to warn drivers. Statistics show that on Halloween, children between the ages of 5 and 14 are four times more likely to be killed by a car than any other day of the year. The statistics increase with the consumption of alcohol. According to a study by Safe Kids USA, such tragedies are very often preventable. Parents should accompany children on the walk around the neighborhood to help keep them safe and enjoy the ancillary benefit of a teachable or re-teachable moment with your child.
A lot of kids don’t know the right way to cross the street because they’re not walking anywhere on a regular basis, says Nichole Hodges, home safety coordinator for the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. This may be a good time to provide that education as parents.
HOW CAN MY FAMILY REMAIN INJURY-FREE THIS HALLOWEEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA?
Situational awareness can keep you and your family safe this Halloween. even though you are in a heightened state of alert, there are a few additional considerations on Halloween.
Carry a flashlight when trick or treating. A flashlight when trick or treating can serve two purposes. The first is to warn motorists and that you are on the road. The second is to illuminate your walking path so that if there are defects in the sidewalk or debris in the roadway, it will not be a tripping hazard. This is particularly important with kids whose costumes may restrict their line of sight to the ground or which may give them some difficulty when walking. The more light to show others your position and where you are walking, the better.
Put reflective tape on your children’s costumes so they will be easily visible at night. Always make sure your children are as visible as possible when out trick or treating. Although drivers should be alert and aware to look out for pedestrians, unfortunately, accidents happen when drivers cannot see children or when they are distracted or impaired by alcohol and strike pedestrians.
Have children remove masks when walking. This will help them prevent trips and falls on uneven surfaces and will allow them to be better able to see cars and traffic.
Ensure children can walk in the costume. It is important that children’s costumes not trip them to where they could fall and hurt themselves or potentially fall into traffic.
Never let your child go trick or treating alone. This should go without saying. If you are unable to walk with your child, have him/her join a chaperoned group to enjoy the remainder of the evening safely.
Inspect your children’s candy before allowing them to eat it. Your children should only eat candy that is sealed and inspected by an adult. We would also advise that anything other than candy, fruit, for example, be discarded rather than inspected.
Do not leave lit candles where a child and/or costume can come into contact with it. There are still many costumes on the market that are flammable. A child’s costume catching on fire can lead to severe burns that can be extremely painful and take months, if not years, to heal. As both a parent and homeowner, it is your responsibility to make ensure that costumes and open flames do not come in contact.
Not all Halloween products are safe. Many decorate their homes for Halloween and there is no shortage of painful and tacky illuminations. There have been plenty of news articles detailing how defective Halloween decorations destroyed a home. To read more about defective product dangers, please refer to our article entitled, “WHAT SHOULD I DO IF INJURED BY FIREWORKS IN SOUTH CAROLINA?”
Keep your dogs indoors. Keep your dogs indoors and away from children, especially if they bark or jump. Dogs can get anxious with a lot of unusual activity and fear can lead a normally docile, sweet dog to get nervous and even sometimes aggressive leading to a dog bite or a dog jumping up on visitors. With all of the people knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell, your dog’s natural instinct is to protect you.
Do not drink and drive. If you have been drinking, do not get behind the wheel of a car. Drinking and driving accidents are the leading cause of death and injury during Halloween.
Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, do not run, across the street. Ensure your child’s phone is put away while going door-to-door, this advice also extends to parents. Crossing the street and texting is dangerous no matter how old you are.
The attorneys at the Lewis Law Firm wish everyone a fun and safe Halloween. With vehicle-related injuries elevated on Halloween, it is important to be vigilantly aware of your surroundings. However, if you do sustain personal injuries on Halloween in a car accident, pedestrian accident, or product liability claim, and need a personal injury lawyer, contact the Lewis Law Firm.